He slept on her lap while she begged. People were busy going to work. Some pitied her and some scorned at her. She looked at his flat stomach and sunken eyes which yearned for food. She saw healthy kids at his age going to school.

It was going to rain and the pavement was their only home. When the sky cried, they were soaked in its tears. He woke up looking afraid when the first rain drop hit him. He did not make any sound as he hasn’t for the past six years. They looked at the sky hoping for the rain to cease, but it did not. Of course, hoping and praying won’t do any good in this world.

Night fell, rain stopped and everything was silent except the frequent honking of the vehicles. Drunken men were singing and walking. She was in the same place with him. Both of them were shivering. He was looking at her with wide-open eyes. She saw the pain, hatred and sorrow in them. It was the same boy whom she saw six years ago, except he has grown bigger. Everything has changed except their lives which were always hungry and sorrowful.

Another day broke off. Nobody even cared looking at them. The busy people whom she saw the day before had new clothes and new looks, but their souls were the same from yesterday. She and him, they did not have new clothes or a new look, but they were also the same from yesterday.  The inn-keeper gave her a staple piece of bread seeing their pathetic plight. But, the staple bread would never help her son to get up.

“If it isn’t for our fate, he would get up, play and go to school like other kids”, she thought. Is it the fate or the society or her own doing? Nobody knows. Reality lies far beyond.

During that night, she could hear the merry-making in a nearby building. A long time ago, she also had a dream of becoming a woman of class, which is an illusion now. He lay on her lap looking up at the starry sky and the darkness around. Then he closed his eyes. She looked at him and she could remember the days when he was in her belly growing as a part of her, the day he was born screaming for life beyond her. But, everything was over. Her son, lay on her lap, dead. Her screams surpassed the merry-making sound of the long night hours.


Written by

Nirmani Rathugama

I write stuff when I'm bored studying law.

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