It was raining heavily that day.Anne looked out of the window of her little small room.Outside there was a small yellow bird who was getting totally drenched in the rain as it could not get shelter somewhere nearby.Anne wanted to help it but she couldn't get out of the house.She was watching that bird helplessly and was feeling bad for it when she heard Mrs.Andrews shout,"Anne,did you finish cleaning the house or not?". She replied,"Yes Aunty!I am almost done." and she went running to clean the other rooms.Anne lived with her mother's brother Mr.Douglas Andrews,his wife Jennifer and their son,Michael who was 10 years old,after her parents,George and Mary were killed in a car accident when she was 8 years old.
She was a beautiful looking girl with chubby red cheeks and had beautiful green eyes just like her mother.She was living with her uncle and aunty for 2 years now.Douglas worked in a bank having an average salary and he had sympathy for her little niece but was scared of his wife,Jennifer.So he couldn't show his feelings for Anne in front of her.Jennifer was a housewife and she was very furious about the matter that Anne had become their responsibility after her parents' death.She always blamed Douglas for bringing her into their home and thus she took out her anger by making little Anne do all the household work.She took out Anne from her school as she felt it was a waste of money spending on a girl's school fees.Michael was about the same age as Anne and he always bullied her for fun.If Michael did any mistake at home like breaking crystal vase or something then he would put the blame on Anne and the Innocent Anne would have to face the wrath of Jennifer while Michael stood there enjoying the scene.
It was Friday noon when Anne was busy cleaning the house and decorating it for Michael's birthday party on the next day.Mrs.Andrews was watching the T.V. in the living room while she shouted,"Anne,if you dont finish cleaning the house by evening then you wont get dinner tonight."Anne had been working from the morning and had only three slices of bread,butter and some peas which was her meal for breakfast,lunch and dinner.She remembered those days when her mother used to feed her all the dishes she liked and fruits with her own hands and his father used to bring her favorite chocolates when he returned from his work.It was about 4 o'clock.Anne had just cleaned the porch when Michael returned from his school and stamped on the porch intentionally with his dirty shoes.
Anne said meekly,"Brother,please do not stamp on it.I had just cleaned it."
Michael replied,"Do your work,you idiot.Don't tell me what to do."and pushed her into the lawn and ran inside the house.Anne fell into the lawn and got little wet.
She stood up and was scared that If her aunty saw the dirty porch then she would be furious.Anne quickly went and started cleaning the porch once again.She was cleaning the porch while Michael came out running again after few minutes to go out and play football with his friends when he accidently tripped over on the flower tub kept on the stairways of the porch.The flower tub fell and broke.Both Anne and Michael stood there shocked and Scared as they knew that it was the favorite flower tub of Mrs.Andrews and she loved it very dearly.She used to water it everyday with her own hands.Mrs.Andrews was asleep that time but the sound of its breaking awakened her siesta.She came out and saw the broken tub.
She got extremely angry and shouted angrily,"Tell me which of you did this to my favorite tub?"
Michael was scared and couldn't find what to do when he suddenly said,"It was Anne.I was going out to play when I saw her tripping over the tub while she was cleaning the porch."
This made Mrs.Andrews mad.She lashed out at Anne and started beating her.
Anne cried,"Aunty,I didn't do it.please trust me."but Mrs.Andrews was not in the mood to hear anything.
Then she controlled herself and said,"You won't be spared for this.You will get punishment for what you have done.You will be staying out in the lawn till tomorrow and you wont get food till then."and she went back to the house.
Anne was left in the lawn crying,"Aunty,believe me I did not do it."but she was not to be heard.Michael was present during the whole scene but he didnt utter a word.He then went on to play football with his friends.The rain had lightened a little bit.Around 6 o'clock Michael returned home after playing and he saw Anne still standing on the lawn crying.He felt guilty and pity for her for the first time.So he didn't bully her and went straight into the house.
Douglas had gone to another city for official purpose and he would return home the next morning.So there was no one that would help Anne that time.Mrs.Andrews had cooked roasted chicken for Michael as it was his birthday the next day and she was happy to see her son eating it with delight.The night grew and the rain had also started pouring down heavily.Michael went to his bed and his mother tucked him in with a blanket and kissed on his forehead.She was just about to leave when Michael said,"Mom,Its raining quite heavily outside.Shouldn't we bring back Anne into the house.She might catch pneumonia." Mrs Andrews said,"No.She had made a big mistake and she is getting what she deserved.You dont worry,she will be fine..Now sleep tight as you have your birthday party tomorrow.You will get many presents and toys but if you dont sleep properly you wont be able to enjoy properly.So sleep now my dear boy.Good night."Michael sighed and said,"Good Night mom." and she switched off the lights and left the room.
Anne was crying outside pleading,"Aunty please let me get into the house.Its very cold out here.Please trust me,I didn't break the tub." but Mrs.Andrews still was not ready to hear her.The clock struck midnight and everyone in the city was asleep including Mrs.Andrews except Anne who was out in the lawn crying amidst the heavy rain.The night grew longer and her loud cries transformed into sob and she lied down on the lawn shivering with cold and slowly her crying stopped and she closed her eyes.
The next morning the rain had stopped but the weather was still little foggy due to the whole night raining.Around 8am Douglas returned home and saw Anne lying unconscious on the lawn totally wet.He hurried to her side and tried to wake her but she didn't open her eyes.He cried out to his wife,"Jenny,why is Anne lying on the lawn totally drenched in rain?" Mrs.Andrews came out of the house still in her nightdress and said,"This little wretch had broke my Favorite flower tub.She doesnt do a work properly.So I gave her punishment to stay out in lawn in the rain the whole night.This would teach her a lesson.Dont Worry,She will be fine,honey."Douglas couldn't believe what he heard and he stared at his wife's inhumanely nature.He said,"Anne's not opening her eyes,I am going to take her to the hospital now."Mrs.Andrews cried,"You dont have to take her to the hospital.She's fine just pretending to be unconscious."
But Douglas didnt hear her and took Anne into his arms and started walking.He was about to open the gate when he felt he stamped over something.He lifted his foot and saw a small yellow bird lying dead as it got soaked with rainwater.He then hurried to the hospital.The doctors there started treating Anne.After sometime a doctor came and told Douglas,"Mr.Andrews,I am sorry but She had caught severe pneumonia.We are trying our best but I am afraid there's not much we can do about it.I am just astonished how she got totally drenched in the rain."Douglas was speechless.He went to see Anne.Anne had gained her consciousness.In the meantime Mrs.Andrews came to the hospital with Michael.As Anne saw her She said with a slow voice,"Aunty,please trust me.I didnt do it."Douglas looked at Jennifer but she gave no attention to it.But Michael seeing Anne like this couldn't hold himself any longer and he told them the truth crying that what had actually happened.Hearing this Jennifer gave a blank expression.She was stunned.
Douglas looked at the green eyes of Anne and felt he was guilty that he couldn't take care of her sister's only child.He couldn't bear the sight and left the room. Anne looked out of the window of her room of the hospital.It was a bright shining day and sky was golden colored.The dark clouds of yesterday had passed and flowers were blooming as the sun shone beautifully.She was having problems taking every breath and she felt that her light of her life was slowly fading away into darkness and after sometime she breathed her last leaving the cruel world.Douglas felt that in one way it was good for Anne to leave her miserable life and go somewhere where she could finally attain peace.