Nandi walked back towards the railway line. This time she did not take the short cut. She walked the long way round, noticing every house along the way. They were like old friends that she wanted to say good bye to.
To Nandi even the houses were silent and still, with shut eyes and mouths. Not even they noticed her as she passed by. Tears were still running silently down her face. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the piece of paper. She opened it, and glanced down at the name and date written on it. She read the name written there, and the telephone number. It made her hesitate. Hope flickered within her again, like a small candle flame.
Nandi heard her name being called, but she walked on.
Nandi stopped, and turned around. Her mother had been running, and was standing, panting, in the road behind her. She was clutching her side with one hand, and clutching Nandi’s note with the other.
“Come home Nandi,” said her mother breathlessly. “I read your note. Your life is so precious, you cannot end it. It will be Ok. I am so sorry I was angry. I didn’t know how bad you were feeling… please…”
“Come home Nandi,” said her mother breathlessly.
Nandi took a step towards her mother. Her mother took another step towards her. Her mother looked down at the note in her hand. Nandi looked down at the piece of paper in her own hand.
“Come my child,” said Nandi’s mother, reaching her arm out towards her, still holding the note. Nandi moved closer. They looked at each other. Nandi noticed that her mother was also crying. Nandi reached out towards her mother, still holding her own piece of crumpled white paper.
“This woman said that she could help me Mama,” said Nandi, showing her the name on the piece of paper in her hand. “She talked to me. I went to the Clinic today. I met her there. I am five months pregnant Mama.”
Nandi’s mother shook her head. “I still cannot believe it,” she said softly.
“This woman,” Nandi carried on, pointing to the name on the paper again. “I talked to her at the Clinic, Mama. I had no-one else to talk to. She helped me today. The things she said to me gave me some hope.”
“I did not want you to make the same mistakes that I did my child,” said Nandi’s mother, taking Nandi’s arm, and turning towards home.
“The things she said helped to keep me alive today Mama,” said Nandi. “They gave me the strength to tell you the truth.”
Nandi’s mother put her arm around her daughter’s shoulder.
“She told me that she can help me get through this. She can help me to find some ways to cope with the baby,” said Nandi, adding. “It’s been so hard these last months. I didn’t think I could go on any more today.”
Nandi’s mother nodded her head. They walked down the street slowly together.
“I don’t know how we’ll manage Nandi,” said her mother, shaking her head, “but we will. We’ll find a way. Together. There is always a way. There is always an answer.”
Nandi looked into her mother’s face as she continued talking, “And we will love this baby, Nandi. As much as I have loved you, even though I know you don’t believe me.”
Nandi closed her fingers around the note, and put it back into her pocket.
Her mother crumpled the note that Nandi had written to her, and let it go, to be blown away by the wind. It would take a while, but she knew that if she got the help she needed, that the dark clouds that overshadowed her life would be blown away too. There was hope, and now she would not have to walk alone. Her mother would be by her side.
Tell us what you think: Do you think Nandi and her mother are going to cope better from now on? Do you know someone who has been in a similar situation to Nandi?