I know it’s only been three weeks but it’s killing me. I wandered up there this afternoon; I needed to get a glimpse of where she was working. Thought it’d make me feel better, but then I saw her.
At first I wasn’t certain it was her, I was standing so far away; but when I ventured nearer, I saw her small, pale face framed by the rough plaits I tied myself only this morning. She was gazing out of the window; tears running down her cheeks. That look in her eyes was one of pain, the pain that comes only with experience. She was too young for that look and I had to turn away.
“I want to help,” she told me yesterday, but the work, the hours she has to do… My heart bled to see her.
“For you, Mama,” she said last week, her hands clinging to the money she’d earned. I unfurled her fingers to discover a few dirty pennies. Her eyes were bright and loving as I pulled her into my arms for a kiss.
“Your papa would be proud of you,” I said.
But now I think he’d just be sad.