I was born on the streets, abandoned even before I could open my eyes properly. My father did not care about me and my mother left me as soon as I was born. It was raining cats and dogs and nature’s furor was enough to terrify even the bravest of them all. How then I survived through the turbulent night is a question that I could never answer. But survive I did, perhaps I was meant to live against the odds.
I learnt to grow up as a mean fighter because living in the streets was not a job for the pansies. But I never fought without a reason. But to show that I could very well defend myself, I needed to be tough. And I was a survivor, yes Sir!
Sometimes I missed my family. When I saw my pals with their parents and siblings playing around in the park I felt a deep ache in my heart. But the next moment I would convince myself that I had no need for anyone else in my life. I was happy being a loner but deep down within my soul I yearned for a person who would love me.
Then that night happened. I still remember that dark, cloudy night when I was feeling unusually happy, with a belly full of food that was thrown out in a garbage bin of a large restaurant. I was passing through a dark alley when I heard voices.
“We have warned you many times not to come into this side of the town. This is our beat. But you never learn, you filth”. I immediately recognized the voice. It was Mean Billy, the scum of the streets, who was known to pick fights at the drop of a hat. Still in the shadows I inched closer to the scene that froze my blood.
Billy along with his group of ruffian friends were bullying little Tom who was ambushed against the wall and had no means of escape. Tom was a good guy but because of his puny size, he was often the victim of Billy’s torment. I did not know what made me do it, but I rushed at Billy and pushed him to the ground. A slow growl rose in his throat as he turned his attention on me. From the corner of my eye I could see Tom slithering away but now Billy and his gang were bearing down on me.
I fought fiercely but I was clearly outnumbered. There were deep wounds on my neck, legs and many on my face. Billy was closing in on his final, brutal attack when there was a deep, loud voice behind me.
The last thing I saw before I lost consciousness were a pair of hands gently picking me up. When I came to, several hours later, I was safely ensconced and pair of gentle eyes was examining my wounds.
Her name was Lisa and she had adopted me that day from the dark alley, bathed my wounds, and stitched my cuts. She fed and gave me a home. Still I did not trust her; maybe I had lost my faith. Every day she looked at me with hopeful eyes, believing that today would be the day I would accept her but every day I failed her. But she never lost patience.
In the evenings we would run beside each other in the park and during the winter we would sit across the fireplace, she in her chair reading her book and I, near her legs just cozying in the warmth.And then one day as we sat like that, she placed her hand on my head lovingly and in response I nuzzled at it and placed my head on her lap. And suddenly we knew that we had crossed the line. She hugged me reassuringly and I knew that I had found that one person who would love me unconditionally. I had come home.