There was a small village that had a population of 1000 people. It was a peaceful happy place to live. It had all the facilities and the people flourished and live comfortably there. In this village lived a girl named Kristie. She was in her early teens. She lived with her parents and a younger sister. Their family was small, but a joyous one. The parents taught their daughters to believe in themselves and have faith in God. They trusted their daughters and thought they are self-sufficient. One fine evening Kristie was playing hide and seek with her friends. She was a good at it and anyone could hardly find her most of the times when they played. Sometimes she used to come out of hiding after a day or two. Most of her hiding places were known to one but all.
He was Stalbur, the neighbour’s shy son who was her best buddy. They used to hang out after school. Secretly though, as he didn’t want anyone to know he had a girl as his pal. Boys have a different way of thinking, especially when it comes to girls in their life. Friends or even acquaintances it may mean the same to the mean man-world. Sharing stories about games, studies, class bullies, favourite telly’s and putting their own mettle at a high pedestrian was their favorite pastime. Vaguely aware of the feelings that made them hate and adore each other’s differences and similarities at the same time. Alas! She told him about her hiding spot last time they were giving away their deep secrets. Playing together was a less fortunate event and today was one lucky day for Kristie.
All the boys went out to town for movie but Stalbur stayed back for helping his dad at the farm. Now she was in a fix. She immediately needed a new spot to hide herself. Wandering across the trees and running through the lush farms she reached an isolated part of the village.
She went to the far off fields and near the well she found a good hiding place. She hid there for many hours together thinking her friends are searching for her. She had some candy bars that kept her hunger satiated. Now it was night time as she peeked out of her hiding place. “Oh God, It is night now and I am unable to see anything.” said Kristie. She started walking around to trying to find the way back home. Suddenly her leg slipped and she fell into the well. Her dress belt got stuck in the shrub that kept her from hurting herself from the fall.
She tried to understand what happened and she felt the cold water under her feet. ‘I am in the well’, thought Kristie. She wanted to climb up and go back home to her parents. They were going to celebrate her sister’s birthday next day. Rushing through her mind were a zillion thoughts. It is needless to mention Stalbur cross her mind many times. Wondering ‘if he would be out there looking for her’!
As she tried to free herself from the branches of the shrub she fell into the water. It was ice cold, stinging the naked skin like thousands of pins and needles. As she felt the things in the vicinity, using her hands, she found a slab of wall, near the well that was above the water. She climbed it and sat there, it kept her from being in the chilling waters all night. She ate her chocolate bars and thought about home. As bit of her mind was bogged down with the shock of staying out in cold all night and the bruises on her body she went in a bit of haze.
It was dawn and there were hushed muffling sounds around her. Shocked with the high octaves of audible activity she opened her eyes to see what was going on? First face she saw was with the auburn eyes like no other, very close to her face. Perfectly resembling to a doe and speaking to her. Comforting her spell bound brain to keep hopes up. Around those coffee kissed eye balls was a face with bushy eye brows dark as the night, reaching out towards each other in a straight pattern. The nose was more of a strawberry plucked off the farm and wiped clean. Right beneath the big nose were two beet soaked rolls of candy, miraculously designed to look like lips. Cotton ball cheeks with perfect pinch of pink covered the rest of this round face. Perched high on the nose were his spectacles. Darn it made his beautiful eyes appear small. But right at that moment, she wanted to give him a soft peck on his lips. Kristie was bedazzled at this train of thoughts going through her mind. Her cognizance indicated she had a strong liking for Stalbur.
He was shy for the world, but with her he wanted to be this great universe explorer. He endlessly ranted about finding this big place where he will be making all the calls. Kristie was just amazed at his deep spirited enthusiasm. His passion drove her closer to him. Flying to the outside world beyond the stars and brining up a whole new concept of life just enthralled her beyond bounds. At school Stalbur was more of a nerd, but a teacher’s pet and the apple of his mother’s eye.
She was close to his face smelling his breath and looking right in his striking chocolate twins. They were almost about to kiss. “Oh God”! Kristie exclaimed through her dream. As she stirred her painful wounds bought her to full consciousness.
There was a sound – a soft whisper, near her. She wondered what it could be! Then it came again, the whisper, this time it was like someone said something in her ears. “You will not be able to go out from here now.” “You are trapped here forever”, said the voice again. She couldn’t see anything so she asked, “who are you and what are you doing here in this well?” The voice replied,” I am a woman and I was trapped here long time ago.” Kristie couldn’t understand what was going on. She wondered who the person could be and what made her stay there in that well. Kristie asked, “Do you live here?” The voice replied, “Yes! Since the past 100 years.” “So you are a spirit”, Kristie asked.
“Right my dear”, replied the voice. “I was a visitor here; I came to see my friend in this village.” “I just stopped here to drink water and I slipped into this well.” “I waited for 8 long days thinking I will be found by someone, and then I died.” Kristie was shocked to hear this. She thought this was a dream and she was imagining all this happening to her. But the cold winds from the top of the wells and the stars in the sky made her believe her that this was happening in reality.
She said to the spirit that she will be taken away the next day when her parents find her missing. In her head she was thinking ‘At least my best pal would come looking for me when he will need my help for that essay due next week at school’. On hearing this, the spirit laughed loudly and said, “I was like you too, believing that I will be found.” “It is not like that dear; no one cares about people who are out of sight.” “No, my parents love me very much and they will find me tomorrow.”
The Ghost was all set to dampen her spirits and all her ideas of being rescued. “My friend Stalbur is going to come looking for me.” Kristie said.
“He knows everything about me.
The way I go hiding in new places and what I do throughout the day.
Stalbur is sure going to find me and we will be at the party in no time.
It is my sister’s birthday too, and I have made a doll house for her as a present.” said Kristie. She fell asleep thinking about the doll house, her sister’s birthday surprise and more than anything Stalbur and his wise cracks about life.
It was a bird that woke her up. She looked around and was surprised to see that it was the well and it was no dream. She looked up at the walls of the well. They were partly broken and shrubs grew around it. No wonder she didn’t see the well, as the shrubs covered it. She called for help many times, but no one ever replied to her voice. She was exhausted and hungry. She wanted to be home helping her mom with the birthday preparations.
Back home everyone thought she was playing one of her pranks again, as a part of the birthday surprise. Stalbur went looking for her all around the village. He knew something was not right. He always got to sneak up on her and scare her out of wits when she sat under a tree or humming around along the pond. He was getting anxious about Kristie missing since the morning. He recalled their last conversation. Kristie had challenged him to try and find her. Challenges and that too from Kristie he adored and partly lived for them.
Stalbur didn’t want to give up looking. He was desperate as he wanted to get his homework done too. Summer holidays weren’t going to last forever. “Kristie you cannot hide from me, not this time when you promised to do the homework together”, he thought.
In the well Kristie saw the gleam of sun in water and played with the birds and the frogs. She even stepped up on the bricks adjoining the wall of the well but they were old so they fell off on touching. She thought of the voice she heard last night. She believed in her parents and their teachings. She had trust that they will find her missing and come looking for her. She picked wild berries of the bushes growing through the cracks in the walls and ate them. She kept praying that she could be there for her sister’s birthday.
She kept wondering what games her friends would play when they will meet and what all she wanted to do when she grew up. She fell asleep thinking about going back and living her free life again. Hours kept passing by and no one found her yet. It was close to night time. Stalbur was out running around looking for her like crazy. He knew his dad was going to scold him bad if he was not home by supper. He didn’t care about the birthday party or the shrubs scratching him across his arms. All he wanted to do was make sure his dearest friend was safe and more than anything alive.
Suddenly he noticed a small weed without any flowers on it. A trail of similar weeds lay ahead of him. Immediately his memory jogged down few days back when he fought with Kristie about hurting the weeds like that. She just argued that it was helping pollination whereas he simply didn’t accept this wicked form of plant aid.
That was his cue, ‘Kristie has been through this path recently’, he thought. Following the weeds he reached to the other side of the village. As the area was rocky it was difficult to cultivate crops on this patch of land. He walked and walked without a break.
At home, her parents went out after the birthday party with her sister leaving a note for her. They thought she went to see her aunt in the next village or was just playing around. She kept waiting in the well. Her calls echoing through the walls of the well made her happy for a while; she thought it was someone out there calling her name. The spirit told her many times that no one was coming and she should make the well her home, but she kept faith in her parents, their teachings and love. She knew friendship was the strong bond that even blood ties could not be compared to. Stalbur would come looking for her eventually. As she was screaming out her name she heard it back but in a different voice, not a reverberation at all.
She hopefully looked at the top of the well, at the crimson sky and waited for her family and friends to find her. She saw her angel peeking from above. Stalbur had found her through the weed patterns and her unique screams. He found a rope lying next to the wall. He loosened it from the post and extended it down to her. Tightly binding it to a nearby tree, he asked Kristie to hold on to it while he tried to tug her up.
He used all his muscle and metier to get her out of the well. In no time she was up and Stalbur just pulled her close to him binding her in a tight hug. Tears of joy streamed down both their eyes and in no time the buddies were in total mirth of the situation.
He walked her home and she narrated the ghost incident to him.
Certainly he didn’t believe her story. He considered it more of a hallucination due to head injury or concussion than any reality, Kristie realized she just gave him one more reason to pull her leg and engage in pure sarcasm. The more she tried to hate him it just tugged her heart towards this man who not just gave her a new life but more reasons to fight and live with every speck of energy in her.
Kristie and Stalbur did finish their homework, although the games just got more peppier and challenging, now both continue to be best buddies of all times. With a little bit of emotions bubbling gradually when a fine lad and a girl grow up over time. Love was in the air.
Just keep believing as faith and friendship falter in front of none