The first chapter .

She stood in front of the mirror. Her face was not clear in the morning semi-darkness. An old comb in her hand , some of its ‘teeth ‘ were missing.
“I don ‘t have money for a taxi,”
She spoke to the comb.
Her request, sorry, statement was answered by mumbling under a heap of dirty blankets strewn on the creaking single bed .
She combed faster, cursed at the wiry strands of hair that stuck to the comb.
Some of them had turned grey. No, snowy white.
“You heard what I said,”
This time she spoke to the face- powder can balanced on her thumb and fore-finger.
Another mumbling from the lump under the blankets. No movement.
In one swift twirl she was at the door. Burst out, and her thick, gumbooted feet stamped furiously on to windswept , dusty yard .
“Melinda ! Melinda ! Uyaphi manje?”
He stood at the door bare-footed. His oversided stomach peeked from under the old t -shirt that was his pyjamas.
The giggling sounds of children clad in uniform and back- packs strapped on their backs reminded him that his hairy legs were bare up to the croach, where a threadbare piece of what used to be underwear covered . . .


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