#15

The first time I met her she must have been around 2 years old.  Bubbly, with huge black eyes filled with unexpected wisdom, very curly hair and chubby arms which would tighten around your neck each time you would pick her up.  Like she didn’t want to ever leave you.  Or rather like she didn’t want you to leave her.  We took her everywhere – our birthday parties, to the seaside, camping, prayers, christmas and new years’ get togethers – basically everywhere where there would be laughs, good food, free flow of hugs and the opportunityfor her to be who she was.  Just a little kid.

I remember how heavy-hearted I felt when I first heard her story, and how the feeling never failed to manifest itself each time I saw her.  Babysitting your little sister when you yourself can barely take care of yourself, walking from your parents’ house to your grandma’s at 5am everyday even when it is freezing cold outside, helping the grouchy grandma do household chores, taking care of a drunk dad, witnessing family disagreements, which more often than not degenerate into violent verbal and physical outbursts, often going to bed without any dinner because no one cared to check whether you had any – that’s not how a kid is supposed to live.  But then that was her childhood.  And still is.  And must be one of many other children out there too.  I must have been one of the lucky ones.

I miss her.  And it’s funny because she may not even remember me now, given that I have not seen her in quite a while.  I wonder how she is doing.  A stolen childhood is never a good start to a brand new life.

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