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Chapter 3: The Darkest Night

By: Iroshini Kalpage ELF Program Development Officer

This is the continuation of “her” story:

That evening, I stepped out from my house. I walked so far, never looked back. I couldn’t think about anything. So, I walk til my leg pains. That day was my coldest day of my life. Rain starts and I stopped at a bus stop. Sat on the bench and tried to think what to do. I couldn’t. I can’t go back home. Sometimes my mom will think I’ll be back home. Caz she knows that I don’t have any place to go. But no, this time, no. She should think how my heart broke. Mom… Why can’t you understand me?

I feel hungry now. The rain stopped and it is getting dark.The people who are coming to the bus stop didn’t recognize me as a girl. Everybody thought I was a boy. I am very happy for that. I decided to stay at the bus stop. I can’t walk at night. Also walk to where? I couldn’t sleep. I can hear my heart beat. I was so afraid. I think at 2 o’clock in the morning a beggar came to the bus stop and slept in the corner. He didn’t notice me. I was so happy.

Anyway, someone is here now. I was waiting to see the sun. Finally, it happened, I was planning my day again. But I was so hungry! I walked a bit forward and saw a water tap. I drank water as much as I could. I knew if I stayed at the bus stop today, I was going to be faint. Okay. I need a job. I walk very slowly, I have no energy. The sun I was looking at last night; as it was burning me so bad.

Now I am far from my home. My little brother and sister will search for me. When I think about them, I feel very sorry for them, my little birds. I want to go home and hug them, but if I go, my mom will get mad at me and ask where I was last night. The beginning of another fight. Would she believe me if I said I stayed at the bus stop? I don’t think so.

Suddenly, someone hit me on my back. I froze, as it may be the police! I turned to see who it was. It was Damith, my friend was at Pola. I was so happy! “Hey, Malli, where are you going?” I couldn’t speak. Tears came to my eyes, like a little waterfall. I cried. He was so upset. “What’s wrong? Tell me.” “I am hungry,” I said. “Okay, let’s go eat something.” We went to a little Indian food cabin and eat some dosai. While I ate, I told him what happened.

“Okay.: He sighed. “If you like you can come and stay at my place. I have another 4 friends with me. We do the iron business like your stepfather. It’s a good business. Actually, we stay at Saman’s house. His grandmother is also with us. If you like, you can come and help our iron business. Anyways, you know Saman, Sisira, and Ajith. One of Sisira’s friends is also with us. His name is Ruwan.”

I am so happy. “I will come… I’d like to do that,” I screamed! “But, Malli, it’s not easier than the Pola business. We have to carry iron items and pack them into the lorry. It is very hard to do.” I didn’t reply to him. I am happy and I am safe.

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