Archive for ‘NaNoWriMo’

November 13, 2008

Unposting my novel

I’ve been thinking a lot, especially about this novel I’m doing for the NaNoWriMo08. While it is nice and enjoyable, I think it’s cluttering up my blog; that was not the intention when I first started this blog. So I’m seriously thinking about discontinuing the novel on this blog. I’ll keep writing, I just will not post it. Maybe I’ll start a new blog for it; I don’t know yet – I already have quite a number of blogs anyway. I’ll post the last part of Chapter 5, but that’s it.

Thank you all so much for reading. If you would like to know how the story goes, you could leave a comment here with your email address or send me a mail to sharon{dot}famonure{at} with Halima as the subject and I’ll send them to your in box. On the alternative, let me know if you would prefer a new blog for the story. Thanks once again!

November 13, 2008

Halima – Chapter 5 Part 2

She bent over the cot and gazed at the sleeping baby “sleeping beauty” she cooed “oh she’s so beautiful! How could anyone throw you away sweetheart?” I felt my chest constrict as she went on “and such a beauty too. We’ll have to stop thinking and actually go get that gun hmm? Sweetie pie… those boys will not be able to stay away will they?” and she went on cooing to the sleeping baby for a few more minutes before she turned and sat on the extra chair next to me.

I blinked the tears away from my eyes and bowed my head. I did not know how I was going to bear losing this girl. I felt my mum’s fingers as she lifted my chin and stared into my eyes.

“Baby girl,” she began gently “do you know what you are doing?”

I sighed. It was a question I had repeatedly asked myself and I still could not find an answer. “Ma, I know I only saw this girl for the first time in my life a few days ago, but I love her more than my life!” I said fiercely.

She kept my gaze for a while then nodded and let go of my chin. “You should have been a mother several times over by now.”

“Ma please I really don’t want to talk about that.” I pleaded.

She sighed to show she understood and stretched out her hand to take mine in hers. “What did the Social Welfare people say?” she asked

“Mrs Kalif said that they are looking for a wet nurse for her.”

“After that?” she prodded

“Then they will put her with a foster mother until they can find someone to adopt her.”

“Did you let her know you are interested in adopting the baby?

I nodded “But she said there are a lot of couples who have a stable home life and are desperate to adopt a baby. She said the waiting list is a mile long and I really should not get my hopes up.”

“Oh sweetheart.” She gently squeezed my hand “she is right you know.”

“I know ma, but shouldn’t there be an exception for someone who has first dibs? I found her ma!” I was almost wailing, but I kept my voice down.

“First dibs?” my mum asked with a frown “You do not get first dibs with a human being girl.” She scolded

I sighed “I know ma and I’m sorry. I’m just so discouraged.”

She used her free hand to pat my cheeks “chin up love, you will get through this.”

She was right. Whatever the outcome, I would get through it. But I would give it my best shot.

November 13, 2008

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.

November 12, 2008

Halima – Chapter 4 part 3

These questions were still plaguing me the next day when I got a visit from Rosa.

“Darlin gal!” she exclaimed softly as I gave her a hug. “How you been dear?” she held me away from her a bit so she could get a good look at me.

“Rosa!” I whispered. “Come so we can talk better.” I led her out to the corridor. “How’s your Johnson?” I asked.

She smiled sadly “Johnson no good.” Then her eyes brightened “But I get hope.”

I smiled back “That’s good then. And how have you been?”

“Oh I be just fine gal; I be just fine.”

The hospital had a lovely garden just outside pediatrics’ and we both decided to take turn around the garden. We walked arm in arm content to just be silent in each other’s company. As usual, Rosa had a calming influence on me. We found a park bench in a hidden corner of the garden and sat down. Rosa was easy to talk to; she had such a dry sense of humour and took pleasure in the simple things of life. I learned about her son and daughter in law in South Africa. She had five grandchildren but had not seen them for five years – since she and her husband left everything they had and fled their country. Now they could not afford to jet set anymore and her son and his family could not afford the air fare to Nigeria.

She told me about her life before; I gained a healthy respect for the huge woman sitting beside me. As she spoke, I became aware that she had overcome a lot of adversity in her life. Oh not from anything she said in particular; she just had a way of making a lot of things comical. She told me how they had to hide out in the thick forests of West Africa for weeks, and how if she had not spent most of her childhood in her grandmother’s hut they would have starved to death for sure. Johnson who was always impeccably dressed had learned to climb trees to survive. She had me laughing till tears came out of my eyes, describing how he had fallen out of a tree one night. Before I knew it, an hour had passed and it was time for her to go back to her Johnson’s bedside. Before she left, she turned to me and asked if she could pray with me. As we bowed our heads together in that isolated part of the garden outside the paediatric ward of the General Hospital, I felt a stillness in my inner being. Once again, the waters inside me were at peace.

Read Previous Chapters

November 10, 2008

Halima – Chapter 4 part 2

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.

Previous Chapters

Previous Chapters

November 4, 2008

Halima Chapter 2 – Part 2

“The usual procedure in this type of case is to inform the Police and Social Welfare.”

I promptly came out of my haze as I heard the doctor murmur these words to my parents. They were both nodding in agreement even though out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mum give me a concerned look. Fine, I knew, somewhere in the reasonable recesses of my mind that I could not keep the baby. Even though I knew I was way past the ‘finders keepers’ stage of my life, that was all I could think about. She’s mine! I said fiercely to myself. I did not know how I was going to go about keeping her, but I knew that baby was sent to me. I couldn’t explain it rationally, but I just knew.

“We suspect pneumonia, but we are not certain as yet. We should be know definitely in the next few days.” The doctor was speaking so I moved closer to where he was standing with my parents.

“What are her chances Doctor?” I asked quietly.

He turned to me “The prognosis is good. If she had been out there an hour longer, I’m afraid it would have been a different story. But even if she does have pneumonia, her chances will still be good as the rate of infant mortality from pneumonia has gone down drastically.” His voice was a rich baritone, smooth like the locally made drink, kunu. I immediately felt the tension begin to drain.

“Of course there are exceptions and it would be nice if you begin to pray that no infection sets in.” He added as a warning. But no warning could take away the relief I was beginning to feel.

I thanked him profusely and after a few more soothing words, he walked back into the ward. I was lost in thought when I felt a pair of strong, comforting arms around me. I sighed as I leaned back into the comfort of my dad’s arms.

“She’ll be fine dear.” He said. I nodded silently. “Come on let’s take you home, you’ve done all you can do for now.”

I stepped out of his arms and turned to look at him aghast. I turned back to look at my mum, “mum” I pleaded.

She understood me immediately. “Tex I think she should stay for a while. We need to go but we’ll come back and check on her.”

My dad looked at me for confirmation and I nodded my agreement. “Alright then. We’ll be back later in the day to check on you chick.” I couldn’t even protest his use of that nickname, I just nodded in relief. “Do you have any cash on you?” He asked. I shook my head. He handed over a few bills to me and hugged me. “Take care of yourself alright? Make sure you eat girl!” He ordered. I just nodded.

“Honey, are you sure you’ll be fine?” That was my mum. I stepped out of my dad’s embrace and turned to hug her.

“I’ll be fine ma.” I assured her.

She squeezed me tight and moments later, they were gone.

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