Meet Ruth, a 16 year old girl with a bright and promising future. She has great plans for her life like any other person. She’s the first of four children. Her father is a pastor who also works at a manufacturing company. Her mother is a trader, and due to the nature of her trade, she leaves home very early and comes back pretty late.
Ruth has just completed her secondary school education and is awaiting admission into the university. Being a very determined and hardworking girl, she is using her break wisely. She assists a church member run her little daycare. A very active young girl, she is one of the lead singers in her church. She is loved by everyone and is always ready to assist no matter what.
But, yes, she has her flaws. No one is perfect. Ruth is rather reserved. She doesn’t share a great parent-daughter bond. I guess that is common amongst teens right? She also has mood swings; sometimes she snaps into a very bad and angry mood, even in the church. Its that bad.
On this fateful day, Ruth came to assist in decorating the church as usual. But before they finished, she excused herself saying she was going on an errand. And that was the last we heard from Ruth.
Something went wrong…
Two days later, I heard Ruth ran away from home, leaving a note behind that said she was in search of a “better place”. She had carefully and successfully executed her plan. A plan she must have conceived for a while. Not even her parents or siblings had the slightest idea of what she was up to. And she lived under the same roof with them.
As shocking or silly as it may sound to you, it is a true story. I was devastated when I heard the news. It ruined the rest of my day. I don’t know the full content of the letter but it ended with “in search of a better place”. At her age, what better place could she be searching for? Was she having troubles at home? Or was she not satisfied with the kind of life she lived? Its not like her family is suffering. Her family is comfortable. That much I know. But right now, its obvious I know nothing. Something must have gone wrong. I can’t shake the feeling that something went wrong.
What went wrong? Why did she make such a decision to run away from home? Did she pause to think of how her parents would feel? Did she think of the effect her runaway would have on her siblings? What would people around think about her family? A pastor’s daughter at that. The mentality that pastors should have a perfect home makes it worse. No matter how hard I try, I still can’t feel a pinch of what led to her decision to runaway. I don’t have a clue of what the family is going through now. Not knowing the whereabout of their daughter must be psychologically draining. All efforts to reach her has been in vain.
Its been 3 weeks, four days and Ruth is yet to come back home.
I don’t know the whole picture of the story or what must have led her to leave. Did she make the right decision of running away? Was it problems at home or in the neighbourhood?Could it be the advice of a friend to leave?Would she really get the “better life” she desires?
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