During the chilly winter, I looked after a street youngster. He returned 20 years later to repay the favor.

I was married off at the age of 22 to a man I hardly knew because my parents orchestrated the whole thing with little input from me. I had three daughters for him, but he had always desired a son. This is why his family, my in-laws, focused their angst and hatred on me. I was treated as a servant rather than their daughter-in-law and had no place in their home.

I accepted my fate with the quiet fortitude that only comes from going through the worst of times. I was never allowed to dine at the table with my family.
They’d start eating while I was still in the kitchen, and I’d have to wait until they were finished before taking my time at the table. Normally, leftovers were scarce, but I made do and finished every morsel of food on the platters.

When my in-laws, husband, and daughters were all gone one frigid winter evening, I heard a knock on our front door. I wasn’t expecting to see a thin little guy at the door for another few hours. He was suffering from the cold and looked exceedingly emaciated, wearing worn slippers. The tiny boy begged to be brought in to avoid the cold, saying that if I turned him away, he would starve and be unable to withstand the harsh weather.

Of course, I couldn’t send him away; he was so frail, and I felt compelled to shield him. I walked him inside and handed him a bowl of white rice. He thanked me for the meal before sitting in one of the kitchen’s corners and stuffing himself. It was painfully obvious that he hadn’t eaten in a long time. He then requested me to take him in permanently, but because of my low standing in the family, my husband and his family would never agree.

Aside from that, I already had three kids to care for, so adopting this child was out of the question, therefore I told him no.I let him stay in the house for a few more days, but when my in-laws and husband discovered I was secretly hiding the child, they threw him out. I called him ‘dumpling’ because he had slight dimples on his cheeks when he grinned.

I went through the house looking for old cotton jackets that the girls had outgrown and gave them to the youngster. I also brought food in the hopes that he could survive for a few days on it. My conscience hasn’t been at ease since they kicked him out of the house. Throwing a youngster out into the cold felt like a sin to me. I could only hope for the child’s mercy.

Fast forward twenty years, my husband and in-laws have died, and my daughters have all married and moved out of the house to start new families in the city. I live alone in the house that has caused me so much grief over the years. My physique is gradually deteriorating as I get older.Every day appears to bring a new discomfort or agony.

My children appear to have forgotten about me, as their visits have become less regular since they moved out. At this point, I’d be lucky to see them once a year. Sometimes I look back and wonder what I did to deserve this kind of life. Who knows, maybe it’s a retribution for a previous existence. I was astonished to find a tall, young man at the entryway when the doorbell rang one day when I wasn’t expecting anyone.

He grinned at me and remembered the time I took in a child. I was astonished to find this young man was the ‘dumpling’ toddler from years ago when I remembered that encounter. He recalled how a reporter had tracked him down a few days after he arrived at our place, and she had assisted him in locating his parents. He wanted to come to our house sooner but couldn’t find it.

After I told him about my current predicament, he stood up and stated, firmly, “Come stay with me and my wife.” You took me in when I was on the verge of death, and I owe you my life. Now I can finally repay the favor and take care of you.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but he was tenacious and refused to go until I said yes. It’s amusing how fate can work in odd ways at times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *