A part of my ‘Unbroken Spirits’ series, posted every Friday; short stories/flash fiction/short short stories, whatever you choose to call it (I’m still learning). This way I get to challenge myself and hopefully evolve. Feedback and/or advice is very much appreciated! More ‘Unbroken Spirits’ on the right, under ‘Explore’.
She basked in pain and sorrow while wishing for a better moment. A moment where despair wasn’t her reality. She cried but kept on pushing through the limits of humanity. She had no choice and that was her truth; the rest were lies in disguise. With tears of desperation she prayed but the notion of God was barely hanging on, faced with the fear he would leave her heart. For all her struggles, it was all up to her. In the midst of darkness, she now hoped for a spark to light her way.
Ayaan knew she had a decision to make. Aware that it wasn’t an easy choice, it was one she had to decide on her own. She stood behind the bathroom door, in tears of despair and desperately in need of advice, thus knew what those around her would advise her to do.
Attempting to comfort a mother’s despair, they all agreed: “You’ll come back for her, when you get settle down.”
It’s not the first time she was faced with a difficult choice. Three years earlier; Ayaan’s life turned upside down. Yet, keeping the baby, her daughter Abi, was a choice she couldn’t regret. She managed to take care and provide for her daughter, all one day at a time. For her, it had not been easy raising a child in poverty, in a foreign country with no family or trustworthy support turn to in times of difficulties. Her determination turned out to be her motivation.
The land of Ivory was full of adventure and vibrant life. It was here her life would change; here that the choice in hand would determine her and Abi’s fate. After her first visit she travelled back home to her family with the desire and knowledge that this was something worth pursuing. A curiosity that needed to be fed.
Ayaan was the oldest in her family and with a steady job, she was known as the family’s provider and her mother’s support in raising her younger siblings. Family was important to her but she lives with regret everyday for leaving them behind, only nineteen, for the pursuit of adventure and the possibility of love across the continent of Africa – from east to west.
Bachelor number one looked promising with his good looks and what seem to be a bright future. Still, after love and passion his true color emerged, leaving her no choice but to end short lived fairytail. The shame would keep her from going back home when all was lost.
Then, the father of her child with his charming being and maturity, her faith in love was restored. A wiser and older man, twice her age would have respect for a woman’s heart and dignity, so she thought. Promises was made but none was kept.
Her only hope was to provide for her child without depending on others to help her, not denying that help from generous friends kept the wheels turning. Selling food on busy streets was barely enough but it was at least something and all she could do. Step by step, she developed a survival instincts whilst making friends and acquaintances in different social ladder. Opportunities for a better life came once but rebound; leaving her with nothing to show for but imprisonment, a story to tell and hopelessness.
Minutes earlier, she sat amongst helpers and friends, in a rich man’s mansion. A plan was set and informations was given. Her journey (with others) in search of a better life would begin on route to Europe, in the absence of Abi.
By the sink, facing her reflection in the mirror as she removed her loose headscarf barely covering her entire head as a courtesy and respect. She was wearied by her persistent tears and the expression of defeat was prominent.
She learned over the years that the turmoils of life seem to have no limits. Dealing with the challenges as they occurred was a part of her everyday life; from the struggles of a woman to the worries of a mother, leaving a trail of tears in their path.
Four thousand dollars was what she needed. An amount she does not own; her part of the arrangement is money borrowed which she vowed to pay back. Her choice stood between leaving her daughter behind or change her mind and go back to a life she knew all too well.
Fixed with a question playing in her head, like a broken record stuck on repeat. A question that need very much to be answered, as fire needs to be extinguished.
“How can I leave behind Abi, my only child?” she asked in a whisper but silence spoke of no wisdom as her failure and regrets roared.
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Thank you for reading. Part Two is up next Friday.