Ma Johnston still cooked for eighteen children. She still quietly wept at the presence of leftovers. There were seventeen children. There would be eighteen again, of course, but that did not matter to a mothers’ heart. What mattered was the empty chair. The cold bed that didn’t need making. The silly little doll made out of rag and dirt that found its way to her wall of pictures, where it rested on a bump in her wall near Sahra’s picture. And where Ma Johnston took a second to kiss it goodnight.
She couldn’t hate the rebels for bringing her the news. She had to try and forgive them for letting her go where Angels would not tread. And right now… it felt like she would be spending the rest of her life trying to forgive them.
Hevun’s Ambassador. February 14th 2014. Available soon.