Friday, 27 March 2009

Lost & Found

She had been living on the street for as long as she could remember, being part of a more or less regular community of others, homeless like her.
Over time, she had become quite good at various methods about how to come by food, and she knew all the places where one could hide when the weather was wet and cold or when someone was after her.
In their loosely knit community, couples were never a permanent thing, and friendships were often ended by one of them moving to a different place or meeting a premature death due to the hardships of street life.
Just like the others, she had switched partners and friends several times, so when she ended up pregnant, she had no idea (nor did she care to find out) who the father of her unborn baby was.
With the added weight of her big belly to her otherwise slim body and the fatigue that came not only from being pregnant, but also from hardly ever having enough to eat, it was no surprise that one day she was picked up by the authorities and put into a home for the likes of her.

Lost one way of life, found another.

Here, for the first time in her life, she had regular meals and slept comfortably. The surroundings were clean, and although most of the others here kept pretty much to themselves (because no-one thought they were going to stay here for long), she got along fairly well with them, and also with the people who gave them their meals and generally made sure they were lacking of nothing.
It was quite obvious from the start that she was pregnant, so she was given all the medical attention her condition commanded.
As far as she was concerned, things could have stayed that way for a little longer, but then her twins were born.

Lost one way of life, found another.

Being a mother was not difficult here, where she did not need to fight or steal for food and shelter. She enjoyed having her twins with her all the time, and was given some extra space so that she could take care of her babies without having to worry about anyone coming too close for comfort.
Looking at her twins made her proud and happy, and she did not once waste a thought for who possibly was their father - they both looked like her, and hers they were.
They became stronger and healthy and looked at the world with (in her opinion) very intelligent and curious eyes, and she shuddered when she thought about the life they would have probably had if she had given birth while still being homeless.

One evening, she was given another medical examination. Someone came up with a syringe. "Vaccination, nothing to worry about," she was told, just before she fell asleep.
When she woke up in a small room where she had never been before, she felt terrible.
Her abdomen hurt, and the twins were not there.
She had a headache and it took a while until she could open her eyes properly.
Now she could feel and see stitches across her belly.
What had they done to her? Where were her babies?
She cried for help, and it seemed ages until someone finally heard her and came in to look after her.
She demanded to know what was going on.
"Your babies have been adopted by a good family, they are far better off now," she was told.
And the stitches, the headache, the pain?
"You won't have any more trouble with babies, we've seen to that," they said.

Lost one life, found another.

At first, she thought she was going to go insane with the combined pain of her twins taken away from her and the aftermaths of the operation that had been forced upon her.
To top it all off, she lost a lot of her hair; no wonder with the hormonal changes her body had undergone so rapidly in the past weeks.

So, when she was transferred from the small single room back to where she had been when she had first arrived at the home, some of the others hardly recognized her.
At first, she was not interested in seeing anyone, although there were people coming to the home almost daily, looking at those of the group who were ready to be adopted.
Maybe her life on the street had made her more pragmatic than others; after a while, she resigned herself to the situation and gave up all hope of ever seeing her twins again. She even came to believe that it probably really was for the best that they had been adopted by a family. People she imagined wealthy, with a big house and nice garden for her children to play in.

One day, a couple came to the home.
She was being as nice and charming as she could, and in the end it was decided that she could go with them.

Lost one life, found another.

The couple were friendly and polite, giving her time and space to herself, something she had not had for a long time.
During the first weeks, she learnt what it is like to live permanently in a normal house, with furniture that belongs to you, a TV, and your own toilet.
Her hair grew back and she soon looked better than she ever had in her life.
If this was what her children had now, she could be happy, too.

So she curled up on her bed, purring loudly.


  1. I just popped over from Farmhouse Kitchen. I'm glad I did. This was a very good read, and a particularly original concept.

  2. Thank you, CatBoy! I have only just noticed that you left a comment here, so, sorry for the late reply.
    Going to pop over to your blog now and have a look.

  3. I've just popped over from your comment on Frances's blog. This was written before we knew each other. It's a beautiful piece of writing Meike.

    1. Thank you, Graham. I don't think I've written any short stories at all since we've come across each other's blogs.