October 13, 2021
Jillian begged for money at her usual spot when she saw a man carrying a crying child to his car. No one else paid attention or helped, but she had a strange feeling about that situation. She reported the incident to the police and discovered the truth.
Jillian had been homeless in the city of Los Angeles, California, for a long time. She was used to it, although things were getting even harder for many people. The government did nothing to help others out, and everyone just had to learn to live with it.
She always hated that people preferred to ignore problems instead of trying to find solutions. No matter how hard she worked, the system was stacked against her. At first, she hoped to get out of debt and rent an apartment, but that proved impossible.
Jillian eventually accepted that this was her life, although she tried to get younger people off the streets and back into the workforce. Maybe things will change in the future, she hoped often. But for now, this was her life.
But everything changed one afternoon while she begged for money on Glendale Boulevard. She heard a child crying horribly. A man was dragging her by her arm, but the girl didn’t want to go. A few people walked around them, paying them no mind.
Is that her father? Jillian wondered. Most people probably thought that the girl was throwing a tantrum, and her dad was talking her home. But she had an odd feeling about it. The man finally reached his car and opened the door.
The girl was holding onto the door, trying not to get in. So Jillian decided to approach them. “Excuse me, is everything alright here?” she asked them. The girl looked at her with tearful eyes and kept yelling. But the man looked back at Jillian.
“Mind your own business, woman. This is my kid, and I’m taking her home right now,” the man said with disdain.
“LET ME GO!” the girl cried again, but the man forcefully shoved her inside the car and closed the door. He ran to the driver’s seat and started the car. Jillian tried to open the back door to get the girl out, but the man locked it. The little girl was banging on the glass in desperation.
“Please, can someone help here? This girl is scared of the man. Please, help me!” Jillian begged other passersby, but no one cared enough.
When the man started driving, Jillian followed. Luckily, there was a red light and she managed to memorize the license plate and noted that it was a Honda. But suddenly, traffic cleared, and the man sped through the avenue.
Jillian knew she needed to do something. He might be her father, but what if I’m wrong? she worried. She decided it was better to do something just in case. She asked people on the street for their phones to call 911, but everyone sneered at her and kept walking.
Jillian was not going to give up. She walked into a restaurant that often gave her leftovers. “Darla, can you lend me your phone?” Jillian asked the server who was always nice to her.
“Oh, Jillian. You can’t be here. My boss gave us a huge lecture yesterday about attracting homeless people and running down his business. He can’t see you,” Darla said as she ushered Jillian out.
“I just need to borrow your phone. I saw something fishy, and I have to call the police. Please,” Jillian begged.
“I’m sorry. We’re swamped right now. Come back at closing hours, and I’ll help,” Darla negotiated and rushed back to work. But Jillian couldn’t wait that long to report this incident. She kept walking and suddenly spotted a cop car.
She tapped on the passenger-side window, and the officer rolled it down. “You startled me! What’s going on?” Officer Thompson asked, frowning.
“I saw something going on. Please, you have to help me. A man pushed a little girl into his car. She was crying desperately. She looked so afraid, but the man sped away,” Jillian explained frantically.
“Ok, ok, calm down. Start from the beginning,” Officer Thompson requested. Jillian told him and his partner everything she knew, including the license plate and model of the car.
“Let me run the plates to see if anything pops up,” Officer Thompson said. “Ok, yes. This man has several outstanding traffic fines. Let’s go down to the station to take your statement.”
Jillian got in the cruiser, and they took her to the closest precinct. But when they got there, she saw a woman yelling and sobbing hysterically. “Someone took my daughter! Why aren’t you listening to me?!” the woman cried.
“Is your daughter blonde and was she wearing a pink shirt?” Jillian asked the woman.
“Yes!” the woman responded with wide eyes.
“It has to be the girl I saw being pushed into a car!” Jillian told Officer Thompson who immediately took action, and had everyone in the station on the case. Jillian gave them a better description of the man, and they called an A.P.B.
“Thank you so much for paying attention. I was at the grocery store with Gigi, and suddenly, she was no longer by my side,” the mother, Hannah, explained.
“It’s the least I could do. I hope they find her on time,” Jillian tried to comfort the distressed mom. A few hours later, another cop walked into the station holding Gigi in his arms. Hannah rushed to her daughter.
Thank God she’s safe, Jillian thought. Officer Thompson thanked her, and she was about to walk out when Hannah called to her.
“Ma’am. Where are you going? Would you like to come over and have dinner with us?” Hannah asked. Jillian tried to refuse, but the woman was persistent. In the end, Jillian agreed.
Jillian later learned that Hannah was a single mother who had a great career. She also asked Jillian about her life and why she was homeless and Jillian told her everything.
“You know, I’m currently looking for a live-in nanny. Would you be interested?” Hannah offered.
“Are you sure? I’m a stranger. I don’t have any references, and I’ve been homeless for many years,” Jillian said, ashamed.
“Well, lots of employed people watched my daughter get taken and did nothing. But you did. You deserve this job. I can offer you a great salary and room for yourself. I'll also give you a bonus for today because you really need new clothes,” Hannah continued and smiled.
Jillian accepted and became Gigi’s nanny. She worked there for several years, but eventually, Hannah considered her family.
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