Highly Commended Story - The Lost Girl
“The Lost Girl” by Zehra Başak Şallı, MEV Ankara Private Secondary School, Ankara, Turkey, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Zehra Başak Şallı is a 13 year old who is a seventh grader in MEV College in Ankara, Turkey. She likes reading and writing so much. She loves her teachers because they are really supportive and they always back her up. She also has some great friends at school. Her favourite subject is English. She feels it is pretty fun and that she is good at it.
The Lost Girl
It was a snowy day. Some children were playing with the snow while their mums were trying to make them go inside. I could hear the mothers shouting “Hey! Get in. You’re going to be sick!” But however hard they tried, it was for nothing. I was waiting for the bus to come; couldn’t wait to go home as soon as possible. Finally the bus came. It was empty as always. I got my book from my bag and started to read. I was just too excited to go home, change my clothes and watch the snow while drinking my hot chocolate. Like even one of my favourite books was not fun, it was that exciting for me. I started to draw some little doodles on the window. A little heart, a flower on grass.
After like half an hour, the bus stopped. I walked into my apartment with fast steps. I quickly went upstairs and opened my door. “Finally”, I sighed. I changed to my pajamas and jumped on the couch. I started to watch the snow while drinking my hot chocolate. The snow stopped all of a sudden. I decided to watch the news. “Yes!”, I was saying in my mind because tomorrow was cancelled due to the heavy snow. The university was pretty difficult for not just me but all the other students as well. Then it was time for the weather forecast. The person spoke, “Hmmm, the weather conditions in UK is mostly going to be snowy. In London, Thursday seems to be heavily snowy and Friday is going to be a snowy and stormy day…” I didn’t listen to the rest of it. I opened the curtains again and the snow was falling faster and faster. I could not hold the little child inside me so I just got up and went outside; with my pajamas.
I started to run like I had seen the snow for the first time. I was running, jumping and singing some Christmas songs when I fell in the snow. I heard someone saying “Hey, you OK? I’m sorry I didn’t see you!” It was a little girl’s voice. Or maybe I thought it was a little girl’s voice. I stood up, trying to wipe all the snow from my face and hair. I didn’t hear it wrong; an eight or nine year old girl was standing in front of me. Her nose and cheeks were pink because of the cold. She was shaking from the cold but she looked as if she didn’t care about getting cold. Actually, when you took a closer look at her clothes, you could easily say that she wasn’t wearing anything that would make her stay warm. Her blonde hair was really messy. I guess she was jumping all around like me so we just bumped each other. She looked pretty nervous while staring at me and waiting in patience for me to say something.
I said, “Yeah, I’m OK. I guess we were both running towards each other ha ha!” She giggled. Then I noticed the time. It was literally midnight! I stopped for a second then asked, “It’s literally midnight, why are you here? Where are your parents? “She didn’t say anything. She was trying not to look at my face. “You can tell me, I will not do anything bad, don’t worry.” Then she looked at me and said, “Don’t tell my mum but I got out without permission to play in the snow. She didn’t let me go and she told me ‘You will get sick, it’s so cold’ but I wanted to play. I got out from our balcony”, she sighed, “but I really don’t know how I’m supposed to get in”. I was pretty surprised; she was just eight or nine years old. I guess her mum had already found out that she was out and if so she would be so worried for her daughter.
I thought leaving her to her house would be the best thing to do right now. But she literally escaped from her home for playing in the snow. I asked, “Would you like to play in the snow more?” She looked at me with sparkling eyes. “Yes, that would be great!” I moved closer to her, “OK, let’s play a while, but then you are going to show me your house and I will leave you at home. Getting punished or shouted at is way much better than getting lost in the snow storm in the pitch dark, or getting kidnapped, isn’t it, huh?” She nodded her head. She got some snow in her hand and made a snowball quickly and threw it at me. I threw some snow back at her. We started a snowball fight. The wind was getting stronger as the time went by. I was worried that she would really get sick after this.
I thought it was enough for her so I told her “This is enough, come here and tell me where your house is”. She said, “Umm, my mum told me not to tell our address or phone numbers….” I didn’t know what to say. I acted like I was going to say something while thinking. Oh! I found what I could say. “Well, if you don’t want to tell it to me, I can call the cops and tell them that I’ve found a lost kid, so you can show your house to them”. She looked scared. “Oh no! You really do not have to do that. Ummm, what’s this street’s name?” She was showing me the street where my house was. “Its name is Rodaluff Street” She started to walk; she looked cute because she looked really small. “Our house is in the Rodaluff Street as well!” But the Rodaluff Street was pretty long, “Is your house a flat or a villa?” “A villa, it’s a yellow house”. Oh God, most of the villas were yellow! What was I supposed to do? Maybe she knew their door number? Hope so… “Do you know your door number?” “The number was…ummm twenty seven as far as I remember. Oh, no no it was twenty one! Yes, it was twenty one. I remember it from my birth date 21st of March”.
I was satisfied with the answer so I looked for the 21 numbered door. I was still looking for the house while the wind was getting stronger and stronger, plus, it was snowing so heavily that I couldn’t see anything. I got scared when the little girl jumped and shouted “Hey! This is my house! Look!” She was showing a yellow house with a big and beautiful garden. Wow, that was amazing!! She was pretty lucky. The little girl started to run so I didn’t have time to make compliments about the house. “This is my house!” she shouted happily again.
I walked really fast to catch up with her. Finally we were there. I opened the garden’s door then walked towards the house. I came near the house door. As it was midnight, I didn’t want to wake anyone up; maybe she had a baby brother or a sister. So I knocked instead of ringing the bell. The door opened really fast. A middle aged woman was at the door. She had dark circles around her eyes. As she saw the little girl, she hugged her. “Where were you? We were so worried, are you cold? Let’s go inside”. She looked at me. “The weather is freezing, would you like to come in?” the woman said in a nice way. “Oh, that would be really good”. “Take off your shoes and come inside”, the woman said with a smile.
I took off my shoes and got in. I took off my coat, it was so wet. I followed her. That was the time I realised that I was still wearing my pajamas. I was too happy that my pajamas were keeping me warm even in the snow. Yeah, that sounds weird, doesn’t it? Pajamas keeping you warm in the snow. What I called pajamas were actually daily clothes for winter. I guess that’s why they weren’t looking at me like a creep. “You can sit if you want darling”, the woman said to me. “Oh, I’m sorry”, I replied and sat down. They asked me some simple questions like “How are you? What’s your name? Where do you live? How old are you? etc.” Another woman walked downstairs and came near us. “I changed Emily’s clothes and dried her hair. Now she’s sleeping. Would you like me to do something for you?” the woman asked. She was the maid of the house I thought. And the little girl’s name was Emily (probably). Emily’s mother said, “No, thank you. But maybe the young lady wants something?” The maid looked at me and asked, “Would you like me to do anything for you Miss? Maybe a hot drink?” I felt that my eyes sparkled when she said “hot drink” because that was the thing I needed the most at that time. I said, “Can I have hot chocolate?” shyly. The maid smiled; “Of course!” she said and went to the kitchen. After a minute she came again into the room with a cup of hot chocolate that smelled amazing. I thanked her, drank a little, then Emily’s father asked me what had happened and I told him everything that I knew.
Afterwards we talked about stuff and ended our conversation. They asked me if I would like them to drive me home. I was too tired to be a really nice person so I just said “Yes” and smiled. They left me at my flat. I went upstairs, opened my door and changed my pajamas with another one. I ate some snacks then checked the clock. It was 2 a.m. I turned off all the lights, jumped into my bed and slept like a baby. Tomorrow all I could think about would be “What a day!”