Monday 1 August 2016

Burning Woman part 6

December 1993

My sigh clouds the glass on the window. I barely notice the constant hum of the bus as it carries me swiftly towards the city. I’ve been seated in my corner at the back of the bus for half a day.  I am hungry and tired but the lady next to me has assured me we are almost there.
I have enough money to buy food but I’m too sick at heart to eat. My conversation with Mary keeps circling in my mind.
I had married young to my childhood sweetheart, Morris. In 1975 I had my first and only child, Morris Jnr.
After Easter several months had passed without a word from Morris. He did communicate with his mother. Lately her eyes would slide away from mine every time I asked after him. And when we ran out of resources I suspect she helped us from her own pocket.
But I couldn’t stop worrying. Not with the village grapevine actively spreading a rumour that simply could not be true. Two months ago she’d sent a letter to Morris but was yet to receive a reply. Many men who worked in the city had come and gone but not my Morris. I did the best I could but I was struggling to keep food on the table.
 Sick of useless platitudes she left the village without telling anyone. Only Mary knew of her mission to the city. Armed with an address and directions she was determined to get to the bottom of things.
This was my first time in the city. As the bus trudged along the buildings became taller and grand. She’d never seen so many cars or even the street lights. Decked out in festive decorations the city appeared to be a wonderland. Even the air smelled different.

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