A search for a missing girl leads her parents to an abandoned building near a graveyard. She was seen being carried away by a man, but to what end?
The Princetons were the perfect family, at least, that’s what people thought about them. It’s what they showed the world — Ella, the loving wife, Steve, the proud husband, and Sarah, their cute daughter — a family united in everything.
Within closed doors, though, the Princetons were not so united. Their daughter Sarah was 14 years old, and she had a lot of ideas on how she needed to live her life.
Naturally, this led to a lot of disputes with her parents, but they never let it be known outside, lest their child is tagged wayward and rude, a direct opposite to their own perfect virtues.
Despite all that, Sarah loved her parents, and the display of kindness she showed out in public was not acting at all; it was quite sincere.
A month before Sarah clocked 15, her parents discovered that she had been skipping out on dance school. Her teacher, Ted Jones, gave her away.
“Hello Mr. Princeton,” Jones said over the phone on one Saturday. “Your child has been absent from dance classes for quite some time now so I wanted to know why you withdrew such a talented child.”
“What do you mean?” Steve Princeton asked.
After hearing the details, the furious father apologized for his daughter’s truancy, and his modesty melted the icy anger of the furious teacher who felt disrespected — after all, he had initially refused to teach the child.
“I hear that some students have seen her hanging out at the graveyard two streets down, my advice is that you find out exactly what is going on,” Jones said before hanging up.
Steve immediately narrated what happened to his wife, and with one mind, they made their way over to Sarah’s room to confront her.
“You’re banned from leaving this house until further notice young lady,” her father said.
Sarah spent the whole of that day under house arrest, but the next morning, her parents could not find her at home — she had disappeared.
They were out searching for her when they got a tip from a saleswoman from a supermarket who said that she saw a man who was carrying a girl that looked like Sarah towards the abandoned house near the graveyard.
Steve and Ella panicked when they heard that, and they quickly rushed to the scene, worried about her safety. When they entered that building, they immediately saw Sarah lying unconscious cocooned in torn dirty blankets.
“Oh my God, wake up Sarah, what did he do to you?” Ella cried.
“Hush, someone’s coming,” Steve said before covering her mouth and forcing her to a crouch.
“Call the police,” he whispered while he kept his eyes on the man who had just entered the building. The man held tea and sandwiches in his hands, but Sarah’s father jumped him with questions.
“Who are you?! Why do you have our daughter? Who put you up to this?”
The man raised his hand and said, “Enough of those questions. My name is John and I’ve only known Sarah for a few months — she started coming to me nearly every day after school to bring me some food and warm clothes.”
“That doesn’t explain why you have our daughter,” Ella said, getting bolder as siren screams started to reach her ears.
“Last night, I was returning here when I saw Sarah lying unconscious. It seemed she had been on her way here so I thought that she took a bad fall so I decided to bring her inside to keep her warm because it’s very cold outside.”
“Why didn’t you just take her to a hospital?” Steve asked as the first cruiser stopped outside the building.
“I was afraid of being accused of doing something to her. She has been caring for me for the past few months, so I couldn’t help but take care of her in this situation.”
When Sarah woke up, she confirmed all his words as true.
“I’d been trying to practice dancing while walking but I made a mistake and hit my head on the way down,” she told her parents hours later. “John had nothing to do with it.”
“She had been left out in the cold like that for several minutes when he found her, any later and we could be telling a different story right now,” the doctor who treated her told them.
The Princetons couldn’t believe what had almost happened and was very thankful. Sarah’s father, an affluent businessman, decided to show his gratitude by improving the homeless man’s station.
“Thank you for saving my daughter,” Steve said. “I’d like to do something for you in return, just name it.”
“Food in my belly and a roof over my head is all I can ever need sir,” John said, too modest to ask for more.
Impressed with his modesty, Steve said, “I have a new warehouse where children’s toys are to be stored for later retrieval. Do you think you can help me watch over it like a security guard?
The question floored John, but he managed to respond positively, after which Steve made him shake on it. That same night, he joined them for a family dinner, and that did not stop, even in the future.
What did we learn from this story?
Modesty can overturn anger. When Ted Jones called Steve Princeton to report his daughter, the teacher was angry; however, Steve’s modesty and quickness to apologize helped defuse that bomb and also got him valuable information.
One good turn deserves another. Sarah was very good to John, which is why he chose to help her when he found her passed out on the street. It could have become incriminating for him, but he helped anyway and it eventually paid off.
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