Life in the slums..
I was just a kid. Barely off the bottle when we moved down to the slums.
Life had sucked pretty bad in the city. Father lost his job due to the economic recession which laid off a few thousands and we were kicked out of our home a couple of months later because we couldn’t afford the bills.
Hell! ! We couldn’t afford a decent meal some days.
Life has been all shades of bad.
We were four in number. My family wasn’t exactly large. Yet it became too much to eat all together. Sometimes mother would give up her ration for me and my brother. Sometimes father would take turns feeding us his bread.
Life sucked. But we survived.
It was raining when we got here. We were drenched to the bones. I had begun to shiver and cough. Tommy held on to father’s hands and carried a small duffel bag which housed a few cloths and his only toy he could hold on to. Father had sold the rest, including his bicycle and all of his assets for all to get by for a while. But tommy wouldn’t let go of his game – boy. He needed to hold onto something at least.
Mother used to sparkle from her ears to her wrist. But now the only thing that dangled was her rosary around her neck and a rubber band she often used to pack her hair.
I had since long ago stopped wearing pampers because mother couldnt afford them. My baby panties were my constant toilet and I pitied mother who always had her cloths soiled and smelly. But she never complained. She would buy pure water and wash and clean me. And I would laugh and jump. It was always too cold for my baby tush.
The place was litered with dirts and slime. The gutter ozzed from constant feces. Flies petched on every corner . But people leaving there didnt even give a slight bother. When you have no choice ..I bet even in the gutter you will happily find your home.
It was a one room. As big as walking ten huge steps on every corner. Large enough to put a camp bed, a table and chair, mat, a bucket and a tiny window on the wall for ventilation. Small enough to house all four of us. Manageable for us four without a single dime to ask for anything better.
Life was going to be hard..harder than we knew it..But it wasn’t the end..
Atleast that’s what mother used to say.
It’s being a couple of days now. Father had found a job pushing wheelbarrow for a construction company that paid meagre. Little to nothing. But he refused to let go.
“half is better than none’ ..
He would often say.
Tommy watched over me while mother goes to wash other people’s cloths so we could have pap and bread to eat at night. Well. .that’s what mother and father thinks.
Tommy would leave me by myself in the room. Locked in. So he can go and play tyres and counters with the other hoodlums in the feild.
I am often left alone in that tiny room. Soiled to my bones. Thumbs in mouth and wailing for comfort . But no one seemed to care the least.
When mother and father comes..I never tell them what tommy is up and about.
But how could I. ..all I could do was giggle and smile…when I saw their faces and make baby babbles..
who cared about the silence of a lonely day in the slums..
I know tommy meant well…but boys will be boys .
And when he comes back with a gift for me..often lollipop sweets..I forgive him of his sins..
What mother doesn’t know won’t hurt her..
After all…everyone is home and happy.
But this was my life ..here in the slums..
I doubt life gets any worse.