My parents waited a long time to have me. They wanted a child born in the most auspicious year of the dragon. It was 1988. The double eights were especially lucky too. They hoped for a boy. I was born a girl. As a small child riding in the front seat of my baba’s taxi, I felt like a princess. The heavy sighs when mama looked my way told me otherwise.
One morning, mama said, “We’re going on a trip.”
Packing a lunch, we boarded a train. My first trip on a train. I delighted at watching the world fly by. Arriving in a crowded station, mama took my hand as we descended the steps to the platform.
Mama said, “Sit here until I return.”
She had tears in her eyes as she walked away. I waited. Swinging my legs, I watched the dance of passengers boarding trains and vendors selling food. Hungry, I ate the food mama packed. I waited as the sun set, laying down on the bench to sleep. The sun came up and still, I waited.
A conductor asked, “Can I help you, little girl?”
I answered, “No. Mama’s coming back.”
But, she never did.
This story is based on a true one. Little “Hannah” was abandoned, but her story had a happily ever after ending. She was adopted into a royal family in Europe. When I knew her, she loved to twirl. Through the years, I’ve imagined her twirling and dancing with her loving new family.
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Susan Spaulding. It’s a challenge to write a story in 200 words or less inspired by a photo prompt. The cool photo this week was taken by C.E. Ayer.