Halima – Chapter 5 Part 1

My mum came later that same day; she had been dropping in each day with food and a change of clothes. I marvelled at the way she was able to walk without making a sound even on high heeled platforms. She had a grace and softness about her that belied the spine of steel she had.

I smiled fondly as her flower patterned gypsy skirt swished around her ankles as she stopped to greet Mrs. Chido, a mother who had her baby a few cots from Halima – she had come over the day before while my mum was around to say hi. She had just been discharged from the hospital herself and had refused to go home unless she was leaving with her baby.

My mum did not look like anybody’s mother; much less like a woman over fifty years of age. Her hair, done in fat, shoulder length braids and held back with a floral print Alice-band did not have a strand of grey in it. The women in her family aged well; I only hoped I’d inherited that gene.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” she queried putting down the picnic basket she held.

“I’m just thinking you are the most beautiful fifty-four year old I’ve come across.”

“I’ve been telling you to go out more.” She answered with a raised eyebrow “you stay cooped up in that flat of yours, where on earth do you want to see anybody at all in that forsaken corner of the earth where your cottage is located?”

I rolled my eyes heavenward “Mama, that forsaken corner of the earth is practically opposite your own house.” I pointed out

“God forbid.” She sniffed “We are closer to civilization!
I laughed gently. We had been whispering so as not to disturb the sleeping babies.

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