A lonely girl sits on the same bench for 15 days until a woman approaches her and learns her terrible story, prompting her to make a life-changing decision concerning the little girl.
Tilly Green was one of those fitness-enthusiast moms who never missed out on her workout routine, no matter how fatigued she was from taking care of the entire household. However, because her mornings were so chaotic with preparations for her husband's office and caring for her four children, she could only find time for herself in the evenings.
Of course, it wasn't a lot for Tilly, as she would have to head back home soon to prepare dinner for the family, but whatever time she got was hers – and she used it wisely, taking a brisk walk around the entire park and doing her exercises. And it was during one of those evenings that she started noticing a little girl who was always sitting on the same bench.
Tilly noticed the girl was always alone. | Source: Shutterstock
At first, Tilly assumed she came with her parents or friends, but several days passed, and Tilly never saw anyone around the little girl. She'd always be alone on the bench, her head bowed and feet swinging in the air. Sometimes people would give her food and money, but nobody helped her.
Wondering what a little child like her would be doing alone there, especially when it got darker, Tilly couldn't stop herself from approaching her.
"Hey," she said gently. "I'm Tilly. What's your name?"
The little girl looked at her, but she didn't utter a word.
Tilly sighed. "Why are you out here alone? Where are your parents?" she asked, hoping for an answer. But once again, all Tilly got was the girl's wide blue eyes staring at her, and her stillness.
At this point, it didn't take long for Tilly to realize that the girl was mute. "Okay, let's do one thing," she told her cheerfully. "I'll ask you a few questions, and you can just nod your head to let me know if it's a yes and shake it if it's a no. Will that be okay?"
Tilly was on her way home when she noticed the little girl. | Source: Pexels
Suddenly, the little girl nodded.
"Good job!" Tilly praised her. "Okay, so is your mommy home, sweetheart?"
The girl shook her head.
"Is she sick?"
Again, the girl shook her head.
"Okay, can you tell me where you live? Do you know the address of your house or your mom's number? I can call her for you."
At that point, the little girl's eyes welled up, and she shook her head. Tilly understood something was wrong with the girl's mother.
"Okay, let's do one thing…umm…." Tilly looked around the park and noticed a man seated with a notepad. She quickly borrowed his pen and paper and ran to the little girl. "Can you write down your name for me, sweetheart? Or anything else you would like to tell me."
The little girl was mute. | Source: Pexels
The little girl took the sheet and pen in her hands and scribbled a few words.
"Paige? Is your name Paige, honey?" Tilly asked, looking at the poorly scribbled letters spelling out her name.
The girl nodded.
"Who's Simba, Paige?" Tilly asked after Paige scribbled the name. "Is he your brother? Your pet?"
Paige nodded. "Brother?" Tilly asked.
Paige gave a shaky nod. "So he's your pet, and you've come to find him? Did you often come here with him?" Tilly guessed.
"That's all?" Tilly smiled at her. "Listen, Paige, I'll call the cops, and they will help you find Simba in no time, okay? And they will take you home, too. So don't worry."
But Paige started shaking her head as if she didn't want that.
"What happened? Are you afraid of calling the cops?" Tilly asked her gently.
Paige was looking for her dog. I Source: Pexels
"But don't worry, I'll be there with you, so nothing will happen. Is it okay if I call them while I'm with you?" Paige gave a slow nod. "You are a very good girl, Paige. Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
Tilly dialed 911 and informed them about Paige, but the response she received was unexpected. It turned out Paige had run away from her orphanage 15 days ago, and the cops were searching for her, which is why she was all alone on the bench every day.
"What exactly do you mean, officer?" Tilly was taken aback.
"Just keep her company ma'am. We're on our way there right now. There's something else you should know."
After the call ended, Tilly walked back to the bench. "Paige?" she asked. "Did you run away from an orphanage, honey?"
Tilly called the cops and informed them about Paige. | Source: Pexels
Paige gave a tiny nod, and Tilly couldn't help but feel bad for her. "So she's an orphan," Tilly thought sadly. "Oh dear, she's so young!"
"Why did you run away, Paige? Was it because you missed Simba?"
Tilly felt awful for Paige, and for some reason, she didn't want to abandon her. So she called home and informed her husband Jason that she would be running late and that they could order dinner.
When the cops arrived, Tilly requested to accompany Paige to the orphanage. Thankfully, they agreed. When they arrived there, the caretaker, Sister Martha, took Paige inside and told Tilly about the little girl's heartbreaking story.
She informed Tilly that Paige's mother, Susan, had died of a heart attack while on her way to pick up her daughter from school. After that, their dog, Simba, was taken to an animal shelter, and Paige was brought to the orphanage because Susan was a single mother with no living relatives to care for her.
Sister Martha revealed Paige's heartbreaking story. | Source: Pexels
Tilly's heart dropped to the floor when she heard that, and that night at home, she just couldn't take Paige out of her mind. She told Jason everything and the couple made a life-changing decision.
They visited the orphanage the next day and told the director they were interested in adopting Paige. When Paige saw Tilly there, she came running up to her happily.
"Paige!" Tilly cried. "Hey, how are you, honey? Guess what? We'll be taking you home shortly, and we'll be able to get Simba back. Do you want that? Do you want to stay with us?"
Paige nodded happily and hugged her tightly.
Thankfully, the documentation was completed over the next few months, and Paige was legally Tilly and Jason's. On the drive back home from the orphanage, they stopped by the animal shelter where Simba was.
Paige and Simba reunited. | Source: Pexels
When Paige saw her long-lost dog, she ran up to him and hugged him. And for the first time, she mumbled something, "Si - Si - Sim - ba," she said.
Jason and Tilly exchanged astonished and teary-eyed glances.
"Paige, sweetheart. What exactly did you say? Did you just call Sima by his name?" Tilly asked.
"Ye - Yes..." Paige smiled, clinging to Simba and resting her head on him.
Jason and Tilly couldn't believe Paige was able to speak. In a miraculous turn of events, it turned out her speech issues could be treated and she wouldn't be mute for the rest of her life.
Tilly and Jason were over the moon when a doctor confirmed that. "She will call me mom, honey, and she will call you dad soon…." Tilly whispered to Jason, teary-eyed. Deep down, she thanked God for a beautiful family with five loving children and a cute pet dog named Simba.
What can we learn from this story?
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