I watched her walk away until she turned a corner, then I went back to Halima.
The last three days had been trying ones; I had come close to losing Halima several times and watching her peacefully asleep, I knew that it was nothing short of a miracle that she had survived. She had teetered on the brink so many times, but the doctor said she was now stable. He decided to keep on antibiotics but she was still being fed intravenously.
Sitting by Halima’s cot, I had a lot of time to think. For years, my life had been running without purpose…well, maybe not exactly without purpose it’s just that I had felt so much like a rudderless ship. Oh I did the usual stuff; I was active in Church, went every Saturday to clean up the church in time for Sunday service, was a good and dutiful daughter, helped my neighbours and had a fulfilling job. But for a very long time it had not been enough. I needed more. It seemed like I had lost all my dreams, or most of them anyway.
I dreamt of having a big family with a lot of children pets running around. I dreamt of writing a bestseller, or even selling a romance novel to Mills and Boon or Steeple Hill, I guess I could still do that, only I had lost the motivation. I wanted to travel the world, to see the Taj Mahal and gaze upon the Pyramids. Maybe when I was eighty or something. My life had become so dreary lately and I had no one to blame but myself. I tried to take an honest look into the deepest recesses of my fears and yearnings; was my desire to take Halima home with me borne out of a desperate attempt to regain my life, my sense of purpose in life? I was still pondering the question. I did not want to become one of those people who lived vicariously through their children, placing on their little shoulders the impossible undertaking of trying to fill the emptiness. I would not do that to any child. A child should be loved for his or her sake. My parents had given me unconditional love, were still giving me in fact and I could not give any less.
I sensed that where custody of Halima was concerned, I was going to have a big fight on my hands and I needed to get to the skeleton of my motives before I made any move.