“You’re going to face much more than a ripped test paper,” Akeela said, rummaging through her heavy bag to find her purse as they stood in line to use the ATM. “Some things will literally bring you to your knees, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get up.”
Ikram stood stone-still as she blinked hard, her eyes skimming over the words.
“Can you un-rip the paper?”
“No,” Ikram said, a little louder than a whisper.
“Can a new test be printed?”
“Uh-uh. Can a new test be printed?”
“Yes.” She sighed.
“And can you find another one to do tonight?”
“You see?” Akeela said looking up from her purse search mission. Ikram’s fists were stuffed in her loose jogging bottoms, head bent low as she concentrated on not blinking a tear. Mustn’t blink a tear. Mustn’t blink a tear.
“Sometimes life dishes out things we don’t like, and many things we can’t change. But what can we do?”
Silence. She lifted Ikram’s chin with an index finger so she looked past her at the parting grey clouds.
“We can keep things moving, darling,” she said, lowering herself until her lips were at the level of her daughter’s ears. “We have to keep life moving.”
Akeela planted a kiss on Ikram’s cheek. She blinked. And tiny droplets joined her single stream.
‘Keep life moving’, she thought.
© LaYinka Sanni, March 2014.