Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts

I want to tell you about my cousin. She was pregnant and she didn't want the baby. - like lots of girls here. She could have gone to Marie Stopes - I suppose but they still cost and anyway, even outside the township everyone talks. You go to Wynberg and meet this aunty, that aunty or the sister of the neighbour next door buying Durban spices. Everyone talks. You meet this cousin, that cousin taking a taxi at night time to some faraway 24 hour chemist to get their ARVs just so no one who knows them will tell on them. She could have gone and got away with it with a bit of effort. It would have taken some lies and then maybe word would have got back to her man. People around knew she didn't want the baby. We knew - not because he didn't stick around - that's no big deal. It was the way she hit her stomach - with her hands - hard, punching her bigging belly, trying to kill it.

My cousin she came down to Cape Town from the Transkei some months back - paying a bitty bit rent in NY38 and got herself a job. Then this man, who she'd already got a young son with, came down too and what not and what not and in no time she was pregnant again - and she cursed herself but that didn't help. She didn't want another baby and then he was off again.

I spoke to her once - after seeing her. It's not normal to hit your own stomach that hard is it? She dressed like she wasn't pregnant and carried on going in to work. Then she went on leave, had the baby boy, stayed home 2 weeks and went back to work. She left the baby with a neighbour. When he was 4 months old - no one saw him any more. He disappeared. She said she sent him up to the Transkei to stay by his older brother.
Then someone found a dog going wild in the street tearing at a plastic bag. The dog had a head in its mouth - a baby's head - her baby. They found other bits of the body later all cut up and arrested her and took her to jail. All the neighbours came and shouted and screamed to say how evil she was, how twisted. She'd cut off the arms herself and left him in a gutter - her own child.

But Miss Lonelyhearts, I know my cousin never wanted that baby in the first place - and look what happened.

Will she go to hell now?


Miss Lonely Hearts said...

no she well won't, but the bastards who make life so hard for girls like her hopefully fucking well will.

Elinor said...

The sort of scenario you imagine in Victorian Britain. Things can't change soon enough.

Far Away said...

Indeed El