She leaned against the dirty walls with obscene posters pasted all over them. She could see herself in a couple of them but, she deliberately looked away. She couldn’t stand to look at those, they disgusted her, made her feel dirtier than she already did. So instead, she focused all her attention on the thing resting peacefully on her lap, looking so cozy, so innocent, totally unaware of the kind of people it was surrounded by. She refused to call the thing a baby, she couldn’t grasp the fact that someone as dirty, as filthy as herself could give birth to something so precious, a life.
For the past 8 months all she’d thought about was having a baby meant having a more steady income when it started growig up but now, now she felt disgusted at the thought. It was nauseating. How could she bring this bundle of innocence into the monstrous world she lived in? She marvelled at it, how tiny its fingers and toes were. How beautiful it looked. How much it resembled its father. She remembered him. How could she not? He was so different than most who came there. She was the one who tempted him, lured him in and in the end he couldn’t resist. How she thanked him for it! As she got a better look at the baby girl’s face, she knew she wouldn’t let her get involved in this filth, come what may.
She remembered her own childhood. She remembered how her own mother had pushed her in a room with a middle-aged man and locked the door behind her. Refusing to hear her pleas and cries, refusing to look at the hatred written so clearly on her face. She was only 13. Her whole life was wasted. She felt so dirty, so disgusted that she couldn’t even stand to look at herself in the mirror. Now, when she looked at the baby and saw glimpses of herself in her face, her heart clenched. She knew her life would never be the same after that day.
She’d be a good mother to her child, it wasn’t a thing. The world had given her a chance, very few were lucky enough to get that and she wasn’t one to give up on opportunities. She wouldn’t be the kind of woman her mother was. No, history wouldn’t repeat itself. She’d regain her respect and make sure her daughter grew up to be a respected woman.
When the morning light shone through the mouth of the alley, she hugged the precious bundle close to her chest and stood to move with a feirce determination on her face. She promised to leave her past behind, promised to never look back. For the first time in 14 years, there was a genuine smile on her face and as she passed by the people on those streets, they looked up at her with something akin to respect in their eyes. She held her baby closer as silent tears streamed down her face and whispered, “Hope. You’re hope. My Hope.”
She’d not only finished a chapter but an entire book. That was a new day that would be written on a new page in a new book.