His tone was more of a statement than request. It also meant watching the kids apart from doing her chores. It would not be easy.
Still Adanna nodded. Baako didn’t say anything in response, just walked away. Most men in the household were not very courteous. They worked hard to make both ends meet.
At eighteen, Adanna was more worldly than her older cousins who lived in the country. She was not a mother yet but she had her own way with kids. Especially with these two – Chidi and Chima.
Adanna looked outside from the window. It was not raining this morning for a change. A clear sky shined above. So the day was going be cooler than past couple of days, she murmured to herself.
She touched the glass of the window pane and wiped part of the frozen mist – she had a few moments to herself before the day got busy. The glass felt cold. She wrote her name on the glass absentmindedly with her finger and tiny droplets of frozen mist trickled down.
This year England had seen a steep hike in energy prices and more so at the advent of winter. Everyone was talking about it, criticizing the first coalition Government since Second World War. Many were in news for devising cheaper ways to stay warm. Some families even protested that they might have to cut on their food supply in order to cope up with the energy costs. Adanna’s family was one of them. No one said explicitly that but she knew. There was some milk for her in the breakfast, but she left that for the kids.
The clock struck eight. She had to go out now. Kids will have to go along. There was no other option. However, while tying a scarf over her head, she realized that she was left with twins of her brother too. Chidi and Chima were old enough to walk – but the toddlers? They could certainly not be left in the house – it would be a couple of hours before she could be back from the town.
She placed one of the twins in a baby sling – but there was only one baby sling. She gritted her teeth. This was not a moment to go weak on her knees, instead this time, she raised the bar. She tied a piece of cloth around her neck and placed the other one of the twins as well. By the time she was out on the streets, she had a trolley in her hand and four children. When she took the first step forward, she felt a spin in her head for a split second. She couldn’t realize if it was from the warmth of hunger or wrath of cold.
Suddenly she remembered, her name meant father’s daughter in Nigeria. Compared to the negligible rewards of living in a developed country as immigrants, memories gave her more strength. She smiled at the kids, gripped their hands and took the next step. It was more a leap of faith than a footstep, considering how many women around the world lived the same life.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. This time your entry must contain, ‘This time, she raised the bar…’