Something Cannot be Hidden
“Something Cannot be Hidden” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Mayank Raj, Regional Secondary School, India.
Something Cannot be Hidden
That was a stormy nocturnal day; I was on my way to office. I saw dark clouds on the sky and predicted a heavy rain. Thunders were striking far behind the horizons. I was badly frightened when I found a little old car coming towards me. I hurriedly raised my hand to have a lift. It was in such a hurry that it stopped some meters away. I ran towards the car and sat in. The owner was an old man. I asked whether he would take me Maybourne street or not? The old man offered me to stay in his own restaurant till the storm goes.
"Otherwise I am Dandlin. I have a restaurant where you can have all of your favorite dishes. Who are you?"
"I am Fliddin, an office worker"
And here it goes. Our conversation started.
The whole conversation showed that Mr.Dandlin was a jolly person; he talked to me so friendly that I forgot once that we met the first time. Suddenly the car stopped, it was raining heavily outside. There was a small, wooden & beautiful restaurant in the midst of trees. It was glowing with lights and tall trees were showering big drops of water on the wooden roof. I was cheerfully invited by Mr.Dandlin into the restaurant. He showed me a small but beautiful and cozy room. I thanked him and had a bath. Mr.Dandlin gave me his own clothes to wear on. I again thanked him. The scenery outside the window of my room was so mesmerizing. Nature has adorned the restaurant with beautiful flowers and plants. Nature was creeping on the windows of the restaurant. I was having a sight of the beautiful place when Mr.Dandlin called me to have a meal with him. I went downstairs to the main hall. There were too many chairs but I was offered to have a sit on a well-decorated one. There was no one in the restaurant instead of a girl whom he introduced to me as his daughter, Mrs. Precious. All of us had a tasty meal. It was so delicious that I did not leave a single scoop. I curiously asked about the dish that was so delicious, expecting another one. Mrs. Precious gave another bowl with a bright smile.
"Good, boy, now you are one of all of those persons who came to my restaurant as they always demand another bowl of the dish made by Precious. I thanked Mrs. Precious for the wonderful dish. It was almost three hours of my arrival and rain was over, it was my time to go. I took my purse out to pay but Mr.Dandlin refused, saying "You can pay the next time. It was the humanity that I did." I promised him to come next time. This whole incident was forgotten by me, I became as busy I was. One day, when I was having rest in my home, a man knocked my door. He was advertising of a restaurant, Emperor Park, which was recently opened nearby my home. I planned not to make lunch today and decided to have a readily made one in the restaurant.
It was a grand restaurant. I went in and had my ordered dish near me. I ate my first bite & found the dish too much delicious. I paid money and went on. Rates were too high. When I was going out I was struck by the thought of Mr.Dandlin. I planned to meet him as soon as possible. That day came, I was at the door of his restaurant. I was shocked by the scene, no one was there. The whole restaurant was empty. I did not show any curiosity and behaved normally. Mr.Dandlin welcomed me. He was not looking as cheerful as he was supposed to be. I did not ask anything and said him to have two glasses of cold drinks. We sat together and had drinks. I tried to start a conversation, "Mr.Dandlin, it seems that your job is not going so well."
"Yes my son, no one is willing to eat any dish made by me."
"Your dishes are quite delicious and incomparable also." expecting any reply, I asked curiously. Mr.Dandlin remained silent for some moment and then began to sob too much. Tears were dripping from his eyes. I was unable to understand anything at that time. I gave him a glass of water. Before I was going to ask him something, my eyes caught someone in the bundles down on the floor. It was the face that I had seen before, she was Mrs.Precious! & those posters were advertisement asking for a missing girl. At the same time, everything became clear to me. I asked Mr.Dandlin "How all this happened?"
"I don't know, I was in the market when I came I found?" Mr.Dandlin replied sobbingly.
"Have you reported to the police?" I asked.
"Yes." he replied.
I was giving him hope when suddenly something striked in my mind. I said Mr.Dandlin I know where is she, come with me. We called the police and went into a restaurant that was Emperor Park. It was heavily crowded with the peoples. I suggested police to look into the kitchen. They found it locked but there was a girl inside cooking dishes and giving it through a small window. We found Mrs. Precious inside. She was looking too much tired. The police saved her out. At the same time, a car came near the Emperor Park. The manager came out. He was caught by our sight and he tried to escape but we caught him. The police arrested him. I said to the manager, "Mr. Manager, I had a little doubt on you two days before when I came into your restaurant for the first time. The dish I ordered was made by Mrs. Precious and was thus a recognizable dish for me but my doubt became stronger when I came to know that Mrs. Precious was missing. Now, Mr. Manager, always remember one thing from this day that you can in a person into a locked room but you can't hide something that is the talent of that person."
Mrs. Precious thanked me.
"Why are you saying thanks to me? It's your talent who helped me to find you. You must appreciate yourself."
Mr.Dandlin also thanked me and this was my turn to say that it was the humanity that I did.