¿Quién Había Sido?
Bill casi rompe a llorar cuando vio el aspecto que tenía su jardín. Acababa de volver de un fin de semana muy necesario y lo que vio le dejó furioso.
Quería saber quién le había hecho esto a su jardín.
Y lo más importante, ¿por qué? Tenía una corazonada, pero lo único que no tenía eran pruebas.
Bill Parsons era un devoto esposo y padre de dos hijos.
Desde que se jubiló de su trabajo como agente de policía, pasaba la mayor parte del día trabajando en el jardín, observando pájaros y haciendo proyectos de bricolaje dentro y fuera de su casa.
Siempre había algo nuevo que quería hacer o arreglar. Maggie, la esposa de Bill, no podía estar más orgullosa de su marido. Sirvió a su comunidad durante 40 años, y ahora era su momento de relajarse y disfrutar de sus años dorados.
Con dos hijos adultos fuera de casa, a Bill y Maggie les encantaba irse de vacaciones a otros estados.
Así que no fue ninguna sorpresa cuando Bill anunció que les había reservado una escapada a una apartada montaña de Wyoming para el puente del 4 de julio.
Bill y Maggie siempre habían querido ir allí, y Bill sólo quería alejarse de la locura de las fiestas de la ciudad que se celebra todos los años.
Amante De Los Animales
No era un gruñón. Simplemente odiaba la forma en que la gente utilizaba los fuegos artificiales y no se preocupaba por el bienestar de los animales.
Verás, Bill y Maggie eran amantes de los animales y tenían tres gatos a los que adoraban y cuidaban como si fueran bebés.
Por supuesto, sus preciosos bebés peludos no podían acompañarles de vacaciones, así que Bill llamó a su cuidadora doméstica para que no solo cuidara de la casa, sino también de los gatos.
Cecilia era una estudiante universitaria de 21 años en la que siempre podían confiar cuando se iban de vacaciones.
Quería a sus gatos tanto como ellos y cuidaba muy bien de ellos.
Pero esta vez ocurriría algo que haría temer a Cecelia por su vida. Huiría del hogar de los Parsons y, tristemente, dejaría un rastro de destrucción tras de sí.
Cinco Horas De Viaje
El día en que Bill y Maggie debían marcharse, dieron a Cecelia instrucciones especiales y la dejaron con unos deliciosos productos horneados que Maggie había preparado para ella.
Cecelia se despidió y los Parsons se pusieron en camino, conduciendo cinco horas y media desde su casa en Idaho Falls hasta Wyoming.
Sin saber lo que les esperaba a la vuelta.
Un Retiro Tranquilo
La apartada escapada a las montañas de Wyoming era todo lo que Bill y Maggie habían esperado. El aire era fresco, el paisaje impresionante y la tranquilidad les envolvía como un cálido abrazo.
Pasaban los días de excursión, explorando senderos naturales y simplemente disfrutando del apacible retiro.
Pero en el fondo de la mente de Bill, no podía deshacerse de la preocupación persistente. Algo iba mal.
“Algo no va bien, Mags. Lo noto en los huesos”. Maggie se limitó a negar con la cabeza.
Bill siempre se preocupaba por la casa cuando estaban fuera.
Pero esta vez, estaba realmente estresado. Cecilia sólo les había mandado un mensaje una vez para decirles que estaban bien, pero de eso hacía dos días. Qué estaba pasando en su casa?
Una Llamada Inesperada
El tercer día de vacaciones, justo después de que terminaran las celebraciones del 4 de julio, Bill recibió una llamada inesperada de una vecina, la señora Johnson.
Sonaba frenética y angustiada, urgiéndole a volver a casa inmediatamente.
Apenas podía articular palabra, pero Bill comprendió que había ocurrido algo terrible. Bill sabía que sus instintos estaban en lo cierto todo este tiempo.
¿Estaba Todo Bien?
Sin dudarlo, Bill y Maggie hicieron las maletas, se despidieron de las pintorescas montañas y emprendieron el largo viaje de vuelta a casa.
Durante todo el trayecto, Bill tuvo una extraña sensación en la boca del estómago y sólo podía pensar en la casa y en sus preciosos gatos.
¿Les había pasado algo? Bill y Maggie se prepararon para lo inesperado.
Llegada A Casa
Cuando llegaron a la entrada, Bill pudo ver que la casa estaba intacta. Pero la Sra. Johnson vino corriendo hacia ellos inmediatamente.
“Gracias a Dios, has vuelto. Fue un caos, te digo, un caos. El vecindario se convirtió en la Tercera Guerra Mundial por una noche.
No me extraña que esa chica huyera”. Al principio, Bill no entendía de qué hablaba la señora Johnson.
¿Qué Había Pasado?
“Señora Johnson, cálmese. Díganos qué pasó y qué chica huyó”. Rápidamente la condujeron al interior, y Maggie encendió la tetera para preparar un poco de té.
“Las celebraciones, Bill. Para ser el Cuatro, aquí se nos fue de las manos. Los fuegos artificiales que estos chicos estaban usando sonaban como disparos.
Creo que la chica que cuidaba tu casa se asustó y huyó. No ha vuelto desde entonces”.
Fue entonces cuando Bill y Maggie se dieron cuenta de que su casa estaba vacía.
Los gatos no estaban allí. Maggie empezó a entrar en pánico mientras Bill marcaba el número de Cecelia.
Sonó y sonó, pero no hubo respuesta. Bill se paseó arriba y abajo hasta que se paró en seco. Miró por la ventana de la cocina y vio cómo su jardín trasero había quedado destrozado.
El jardín, antaño vibrante y meticulosamente cuidado, era ahora un erial.
Parches de hierba quemada, macetas destrozadas y restos de fuegos artificiales estaban esparcidos por el jardín.
La ira corrió por las venas de Bill, eclipsando el cansancio del viaje. Juró descubrir a los culpables y hacerles pagar por la destrucción que habían provocado aunque fuera lo último que hiciera.
Comienza La Investigación
Bill no perdió el tiempo. Inmediatamente se puso en contacto con su antiguo departamento de policía.
Por suerte, consiguió que alguien fuera a su casa en un abrir y cerrar de ojos. Después de todo, era una persona respetada en la comunidad.
El agente que llegó al lugar tomó nota de los daños y aseguró a Bill que harían todo lo posible por encontrar a los responsables.
Aún En Busca
Mientras tanto, Maggie buscaba frenéticamente cualquier señal de sus gatos desaparecidos.
Gritó sus nombres y buscó por todos los rincones de la casa, pero no los encontró por ninguna parte.
Se le llenaron los ojos de lágrimas al darse cuenta de la magnitud del caos que se había apoderado de su hogar. ¿Y por qué Cecelia no se ponía en contacto con ellos? ¿Tenía ella algo que ver?
Maggie estaba abrumada por la preocupación. Quería saber qué había pasado mientras estaban fuera.
Y quería saber dónde estaban sus gatos en ese momento.
Pero no tenía forma de obtener respuestas sin ponerse en contacto con Cecilia. El único problema era que no podía localizar a la mujer. Y eso la hizo preguntarse.
¿Era Ella La Culpable?
A Maggie se le había pasado más de una vez por la cabeza la idea de que Cecelia estuviera implicada en aquella locura.
Sabía que aquellos gatos eran razas especiales y sabía lo que valían.
¿Era posible que ella hubiera orquestado todo esto? ¿Podría ser que hubiera desordenado el patio trasero para causar una distracción? ¿Intentaba desviar su atención de los gatos desaparecidos?
¿Era Una Víctima?
¿O fue Cecilia tan víctima como ellos? ¿Huyó cuando atacaron el jardín? Y si lo hizo, ¿qué hizo con los gatos?
Maggie tenía muchas preguntas, pero ninguna respuesta.
¿Cómo podía creer que Cecelia era inocente si la mujer ni siquiera respondía a sus llamadas? ¿Era eso una respuesta en sí misma?
¿Dónde Estaban Los Gatos?
Maggie suprimió todos esos pensamientos y se centró en lo único que más le importaba en ese momento.
¿Dónde estaban sus gatos?
Buscó por toda la casa dos veces antes de dirigirse al patio trasero. Pero una vez allí, sus pensamientos dieron un vuelco y no pudo evitar pensar en la tragedia que podría haberles ocurrido.
Had They Been Stolen?
Maggie’s cats weren’t just any cats. They were Russian Blues with a hint of Sphynx.
They had all the best characteristics of both traits, and it took her an eternity to find them. Among certain people, they were prized cats, and some wouldn’t bat an eye at paying a fortune for one.
But what was Bill doing while she was looking for her beloved children? Did his investigation yield any results?
The Hunt for Clues
While waiting for the police to uncover leads, Bill took matters into his own hands. He scoured the backyard for any clues that could identify the perpetrators.
Among the debris, he found remnants of firework packaging and even a stray firework that hadn’t ignited.
Carefully collecting the evidence, Bill bagged them up and labeled each item. Determined to bring the culprits to justice, he reached out to neighbors, hoping someone had seen or heard something that night.
A Neighbor’s Confession
After speaking with several neighbors, Bill finally stumbled upon a crucial piece of information.
Mr. Andrews, who lived two houses down, confessed that a group of teenagers had been setting off fireworks in the neighborhood that night. He even witnessed one of them lighting a firework and throwing it into Bill’s backyard.
Bill’s anger intensified as he learned about the reckless actions of these teenagers. Their disregard for the safety and well-being of others infuriated him. He vowed to hold them accountable for their destructive behavior.
What To Do?
Bill was filled with a sense of rage to the likes he had never experienced before.
At that point, all he knew was that he wanted revenge.
But what would be the best way to get it? He wanted to punish the culprits, but he didn’t want to go too far. Where was the balance?
Best Way Forward
What could Bill do to get his point across while remaining within the legal boundaries?
How could he make them understand how wrong their actions were?
What would ingrain his lesson more than letting them suffer the same fate? To answer those questions, he needed to calm down. To think with a clear mind and come up with the best solution.
They Needed To Pay
He knew that those boys needed to pay the ultimate price for their actions.
They needed to pay for all the damages and the loss of his beloved cats.
But would money fill the gap that their destruction left? Was money enough to mend his wife’s broken heart? There was only one way to find out.
The Ultimate Revenge
Of course, having them pay for the damages they had caused would be the ultimate act of revenge because they would need to answer to the local police.
And splitting the cost three ways would mean that each of them could afford their share.
But that still left the problem of the cats. How would he make them pay for that?
Find Them First
But before Bill could get to any act of revenge, he needed to find the people who were responsible, and up until that point, he had no leads to go by.
However, that didn’t mean that he was giving up.
One way or another, he’d find them, even if it meant that he had to use all the resources at his disposal.
Taking Matters Into His Own Hands
Days turned into weeks, and despite the police’s efforts, no concrete evidence emerged to identify the individuals responsible for the chaos.
Frustrated and feeling let down by the justice system, Bill decided to take matters into his own hands.
He delved into his old police files, contacting former colleagues and friends in the law enforcement community for assistance. Together, they started their own investigation, determined to bring the vandals to justice.
Would They Find Anything?
But they only had so many tools at their disposal, and that had Bill wondering if they would be able to find any leads.
Would they be able to find any more information than the officers?
Bill really hoped so, and he hoped that they would be faster. All he wanted was to get justice, and the sooner that could happen, the better.
Weeks Went By
Weeks passed without any answers, and Bill would be lying if he said that he wasn’t starting to lose all hope he had.
This was taking forever, and he was starting to think that he would never get the answers he sought.
Was he right? Would those culprits ever pay the price for what they had done? Or would they remain elusive forever?
Not A Single Clue
Up until that point, they hadn’t managed to get a single clue. It seemed like the entire investigation had reached a dead-end.
They couldn’t find anything that would lead them in the right direction, and that was really starting to get to Bill.
He felt like a failure, and that wasn’t a feeling he liked.
Bill was beyond frustrated with the matter. And he quickly became irritated with the lack of results. But what could he do?
It wasn’t like he could ask his crew to do any more than they were already doing.
They were moving as fast as they could. And they had pulled together everything they had.
Bill couldn’t take this endless wait anymore. He wanted results, and he wanted them then and there.
If only he knew what the future had in store for him.
Maybe then his patience would have lasted a little longer. But what was Maggie up to while Bill was trying to find the culprits? Did she come across anything?
While Bill’s search continued, so did Maggie’s.
He was on the hunt for the people who were responsible for the carnage in his backyard while his wife tried to uncover what really happened to the cats.
She did everything in her power to get them back and to bring the person responsible for their disappearance to justice. Would she succeed?
Everything She Could
Maggie did everything she could think of. But she started the smart way.
The first thing she did was check the tracking data on their microchips.
But that just led to more confusion. It looked like her cats had been all over the place. However, the chips seemed to have been deactivated as they stopped tracking once the cats entered the city.
Armed with her newfound knowledge, Maggie got to work.
She typed up a missing cat poster for every single one of her babies and started posting them across the neighborhood.
She even went as far as to stick a few of them on random poles in the city, near the area where the trackers stopped working. But would that be enough?
After she finished with her posters, Maggie turned to her neighbors.
She started questioning every single one of them about the events that had unfolded that fateful night.
They didn’t have much to offer up in terms of information regarding her cats. But her next-door neighbor Julia did have something to say about Cecelia. She actually saw her leaving that night.
Julia stated that Cecelia had a cat carrier with her when she left that night.
Julia couldn’t see much as it was dark, but the woman left in a hurry, and it looked like the carrier was heavy.
After hearing that, Maggie tried to call the sitter again. But once again, her calls were being declined. Did Bill manage to get any more information?
A Lead Emerges
Bill’s relentless pursuit paid off when one of his connections tipped him off about a group of local troublemakers known for their destructive tendencies.
Their names were Marcus, Jake, and Trent—three teenagers notorious for causing mayhem in the neighborhood.
With the new lead in hand, Bill began digging deeper, gathering information on their whereabouts and activities. He was determined to find the missing piece of the puzzle that would lead him directly to the culprits.
Would He Find Them?
Bill could feel the excitement flooding his system.
He finally had something to go by, and that was more than he could’ve asked for.
But would that ultimately lead him to the truth? Would this information help to bring the culprits to justice? Well, that depended on whether or not he could find them. Would he?
Following The Leads
Bill started following the leads that were given to him, but he soon uncovered that they were more useless than they seemed.
There were multiple people with those names in the area, so finding the right ones wasn’t as easy.
But was that enough to make him give up? Would Bill finally accept defeat? Or would he keep pushing?
There Had To Be Something
Bill knew that there had to be something that would point him in the right direction. There must be some clue that he missed.
This couldn’t be the end of the line. He couldn’t just give up on his search now that he had gotten this far.
He had to find a way to uncover the real identities of these teens.
The Local School
So he went to the local high school and started asking questions. If the boys were really such a nuisance, someone there would know exactly who they were.
And he wasn’t wrong. After explaining his situation to the receptionist, she was more than happy to tell him everything he needed to know and so much more.
It was the receptionist that managed to give him a clue that would blow the case wide open.
The receptionist told Bill that she didn’t know about all the boys, but she did know about Trent.
His full name was Trent Davids, and he lived about two blocks away from Bill and Maggie.
She didn’t know the full address, but she could assure him that this wasn’t the last time he’d have an encounter with Trent. Once that boy had a target, he stuck with it.
A Twist of Fate
As Bill continued his investigation, he received an unexpected call from Cecelia. Her voice trembled with fear as she revealed the events that unfolded on that fateful night. Cecelia confessed that she witnessed Marcus, Jake, and Trent vandalizing the backyard with fireworks.
Terrified for her safety, Cecelia fled the scene with their two cats, Bob and Lucy, leaving behind the chaos that unfolded in her wake.
She apologized profusely, explaining that she was too frightened to return to the Parsons’ home or even contact them. Unfortunately, the other cat, Milly, ran away because of the chaos.
Telling His Wife
After hanging up on Cecelia, Bill approached his wife. He knew that Maggie would be delighted about the cats being safe and sound.
But he didn’t know how she would react to the news about Milly.
So he sat her down gently and slowly explained what had happened. He hoped that would make things easier, but he was wrong.
Maggie was devastated by the news of her baby running away.
She burst into tears as soon as she heard about it, and Bill knew that there was nothing he could do to console her.
Maggie adored those cats. She had paid a fortune to get each one of them. And she raised them like the children she wished were still living in her home.
Like A Child
That was why he agreed to get the cats to begin with. After their children left the nest, he could see that his wife was lonely, and he wanted to rectify the situation.
So he decided to get her a pet. The animal she loved more than all the rest.
When she saw that kitten, she was smitten, and it became her new baby. So he could understand why she was so upset.
But that didn’t mean that her tears didn’t affect him. Bill was crushed by the sight of his strong, determined wife crying for the little critters that made her days.
He wanted to fix things. He wanted to bring her babies back home.
He wanted all her children to be back in her arms. But unfortunately, he could only get two of them back.
What To Do?
That didn’t mean he wouldn’t try his best for the third one, though.
If they couldn’t get Milly back, he would make sure that the people responsible for her disappearance felt what his wife was going through.
He’d make sure that they knew how much pain they had caused. And when all was said and done, he’d make sure his wife found her happiness again. With that thought, he called Cecelia back.
A Father’s Rage
Bill’s blood boiled as he listened to Cecelia repeating what she had already told him. The thought of those vandals terrorizing his home and causing his beloved cat to go missing filled him with an overwhelming rage.
Determined to teach them a lesson they would never forget, he devised a plan that would hit them where it hurt—their wallets.
Bill enlisted the help of his friends in the construction industry to restore the backyard to its former glory. But instead of a typical renovation, they transformed it into a stunning showcase, complete with intricate landscaping, a luxurious fountain, and a state-of-the-art security system.
The Costly Lesson
Word quickly spread throughout the neighborhood about Bill’s plan. People gathered, eager to witness the fate that awaited the vandals. On the designated day, Marcus, Jake, and Trent arrived, unaware of the trap that awaited them.
As they stepped foot into the meticulously restored backyard, their jaws dropped in disbelief. Bill emerged from the shadows, his eyes blazing with anger and disappointment.
He confronted them, recounting the damage they had caused and the pain they had inflicted on his family.
A Community’s Support
The neighborhood watched in awe as Bill revealed the total cost of the restoration—a staggering amount that left the vandals speechless.
But it wasn’t just the vandals who learned a lesson that day.
The community rallied behind the Parsons, offering their support and solidarity. They vowed to stand against the reckless behavior that had disrupted their peaceful neighborhood, pledging to keep a vigilant eye on any further incidents.
Redemption and Forgiveness
As the vandals faced the consequences of their actions, Bill’s heart softened. He saw the fear and regret in their eyes, realizing that they were still young and capable of change. Against his initial instincts, he decided to offer them a chance at redemption.
Bill reached out to local organizations that worked with troubled youth, arranging mentorship programs and counseling sessions for Marcus, Jake, and Trent.
He hoped that by guiding them onto a better path, they could learn from their mistakes and become contributing members of society.
A Fresh Start
Months passed, and the scars of that chaotic night began to heal. The Parsons’ backyard flourished once again, its beauty a testament to their resilience and the support of their community.
Marcus, Jake, and Trent, too, embarked on a journey of personal growth. They embraced the opportunities provided to them and slowly turned their lives around.
Under the watchful eye of their mentors, they engaged in community service and dedicated themselves to making amends for the harm they had caused. Meanwhile, the Parsons were still looking for their missing cat.
Reunited and Rebuilt
In the midst of their healing, a miracle occurred. One evening, as Maggie sat on the porch, mourning the loss of their missing cat, she noticed a familiar figure emerging from the bushes.
It was their long-lost feline, Milly, who had somehow found her way back home.
Overwhelmed with joy, Maggie scooped up the cat and rushed inside to share the good news with Bill. The couple celebrated their reunion, cherishing the moment as a symbol of hope and resilience.
A Stronger Bond
The entire ordeal had brought Bill and Maggie closer together. They realized the strength of their love and their ability to overcome even the darkest of times.
With their restored backyard as a testament to their perseverance, they cherished every moment spent in each other’s company, grateful for the blessings life had bestowed upon them.
And as for Cecelia, she found solace in the kindness of strangers. The support she received from the Parsons’ and the community allowed her to rebuild her life, fostering a newfound sense of courage and determination.
A Legacy of Change
The events that transpired that fateful Fourth of July had a lasting impact on the neighborhood. The Parsons’ story became a cautionary tale, reminding everyone of the consequences of recklessness and the importance of unity.
Year after year, the community came together to organize safe and controlled celebrations. They implemented stricter regulations and educated their youth about the dangers of misusing fireworks.
The once-divided neighborhood became a beacon of harmony and cooperation, fostering a sense of pride in their collective efforts.
A New Beginning
As time passed, Bill and Maggie found solace in their restored backyard. They reveled in the vibrant colors of their garden, listened to the soothing sound of the fountain, and embraced the newfound peace that enveloped their home.
Their love for animals only grew stronger as they now had all three felines together under one roof again. They showered their pets with love and care, cherishing every moment spent in their presence.
Disclaimer: In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.