Cobb tends to an orphan girl who flees the shelter daily and discovers something shocking about her. A cop develops a soft spot for the orphaned little girl who flees the shelter to visit her dad’s grave. One day, she takes the girl to the cemetery and bursts into tears after seeing the name on her father’s tombstone.
Inspector Judy was returning home after making rounds in the streets, exhausted and set to work an early morning shift the next day when she got a call from a local shelter. The woman on the phone sounded nervous and terrified as she informed Judy about the sudden disappearance of a little girl from the premises.
“Yes, officer, and the girl is seven years old. She’s new here. She was sent here just a few days back. She’s been acting strange since she got here and would always disappear from her room. We thought she was with her friends but realized she’s been sneaking out.
It’s getting dark, and we can’t find her anywhere.” “Alright, I’m on my way,” Judy assured the woman and immediately got into her patrol car and headed towards the shelter. A few minutes later, Judy pulled over outside the shelter where a couple of staff and a caretaker were waiting along with another officer Judy had called to meet her there. They looked around the shelter and marched inside the missing girl’s room to inspect it. “What did you say your name was?
“Ashley, and she’s seven years old. This is her picture,” Judy rummaged through the girl’s room and found a drawing book full of stick figure sketches of a man and a little girl holding his hand. “Ashley’s neighbor sent her here after her dad died recently,” the caretaker explained. “She’s been crying all the time, and we just found out from her friends that she’s been sneaking out often. We had no clue about this.
Judy flipped the pages of the drawing book and saw that all the drawings were similar. “Where’s her dad’s grave?” Judy asked and immediately hurried to the cemetery after learning it was just a mile away. Arriving at the graveyard minutes later, Judy saw a silhouette of a little girl kneeling near a grave. She walked closer and saw the girl crying, begging her dad to come back.
“Daddy, come back! Why’d you leave me? Please come back! I’m alone and scared. You promised me you’d come back.
Where did you go? Answer me, Daddy!” Seeing the girl wailing brought tears to Judy’s eyes. “Ashley,” Officer Judy interrupted. The girl turned around, startled, her tears endlessly flowing down her eyes.
“What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be out alone like this. Come with me.” “I miss my daddy. I want to see him,” Ashley cried.
Judy comforted the girl and wrapped her in a warm blanket. Then she took her to the patrol car and gave her some water and snacks. “I’m not hungry,” Ashley turned her face away shyly, but Judy knew the girl was lying. She could see her desperate eyes fixed on the chips packet. “If you eat like a good girl, I promise to visit you every day and bring you a lot of snacks.
Deal?” “You will,” Ashley shyly spoke as she walked closer. She couldn’t resist the kind cop’s gesture. “Yeah, I have a big shelf full of chips packets at home, and they’re all yours, only if you eat this.” Ashley started snacking as Judy sat beside her and waited.
Moments later, after Ashley was done eating, Judy drove her back to the shelter, relieved she was safe and sound. “I’ll come again tomorrow to check on her,” Judy told the staff before leaving, unaware of what was in store for her in the days to come. The next evening, Judy returned to the shelter to check on Ashley. She brought her new toys in an attempt to help her overcome her grief. The visit resulted in another and another until Judy and Ashley harbored a strange fondness for each other.
During these visits, one day, the girl asked Judy if she was her mom, and it melted Judy’s heart. “Darling, what happened to your mom?” she asked. “Ashley’s mommy’s with God. Then he took daddy away from me too,” Ashley cried.
Judy was disheartened to learn that the girl’s mother had died two years ago. Little Ashley had lost both parents in a span of two years and had nowhere to go, so she was sent to the shelter. “Shall we go to the cemetery and bring your dad’s favorite flowers?” Judy suggested, and the girl smiled. That same day, Judy took Ashley to her father’s grave, hoping it would help heal the little girl’s grief.
But little did Judy know what she would soon discover after seeing the name on Ashley’s dad’s tombstone. Judy let Ashley by her hand to her father’s grave, where she gently laid the flowers. After a minute of observing silence, she looked up and was shocked when she saw the name Davis Vaughn etched on the marble. Davis Vaughn, her best friend in school. She had no friends, and everybody mocked her because she was from a poor family, and it was only Davis who befriended her and consistently stepped up for her.
He used to share his food with her, help her with homework, and sing songs to her so she would laugh and never feel isolated again. After finishing high school, Judy and Davis parted ways. He went to another state to pursue his degree, and they lost touch. Years flew by, and Judy hoped her best friend would be fine somewhere. She never found him on social media but assumed he was doing well wherever he was.
“Do you have your father’s picture?” Judy painfully asked Ashley, hoping it wasn’t her best friend lying to rest there. Ashley took out an old picture of her with her daddy and showed it to Judy, whose tears wouldn’t stop. Davis, her best friend, was dead. She was standing in front of his grave, endless memories of the late Davis plaguing Judy’s heart as she dropped to her knees in tears.
Judy never returned to the shelter to visit Ashley for a couple of days. She couldn’t pull herself together to come to terms with her dear friend’s loss. “It wasn’t my best friend; he was like my older brother,” she cried on her husband’s shoulders. “I can’t let his daughter live an orphan’s life. I could never do that.
As long as I’m alive, Davis hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s with me. I can feel him and see him through his daughter’s eyes. I’m not gonna leave her alone there.” The following day, Judy rushed to the shelter with an attorney.
“I want to adopt Ashley. If anyone’s interested in adopting her, please tell them she has parents now.” Six months later, Judy and her husband Charlie legally adopted Ashley and took her home. So the little girl hadn’t completely gotten over her dad’s loss, she felt happy and loved. It’s been two years since Ashley found a loving mother and father who were ready to do anything to make her happy.
She still visits her late dad’s grave, but she no longer scolds him for leaving her. Instead, she mourns him in silence with her mother Judy and often tells him how much she still loves and misses him.