How I wish, I could catch the wind and keep it close to my heart so I never have to be blown away by what tomorrow holds.
Hope for Tomorrow (Poem)
How can I
Know for sure
What tomorrow holds?
How can I see beyond
The troubles of today
Reminders of my past
On things I thought will yield
Can’t go on
All strength is gone
And yet my spirit cries
Arise and seek
Your makers will
His strength to you will come
To walk where angels dare
How could I
Not have seen
A road so very clear
A joyful heart
To do my makers will
Now I see
There’s hope for Tomorrow.
‘Come on Sheila. It’s time to go. It’s almost midnight’, urged Diamond. ‘We do not want to loose our regulars. Its ‘good friday’ our best night of the week. Come On!’
Sheila tip-toed into the small dark room and planted a big wet kiss on the forehead of her sleeping toddler and gently tip-toed back to the door where Diamond was impateintly waiting.
This is not the first time Sheila has left her baby home alone at night. She always tells herself; ‘he sleeps like a log and I will be back before he even wakes up’.
She looks up into the night sky as they made their way towards the busy high street. Diamond looked at her curiously and asked. ‘What are you looking up at the sky for? I never took you for a star-gazer or the romantic type’. Sheila responded; ‘No, I am neither really. I am just thinking that there must be someone up there watching over us. Do you know the number of times I have had to leave my baby home alone and each time I have returned and he’s been safe. Anyway, let’s hurry before our spot gets taken by those hustlers’.
Sheila and Diamond became friends when they met one night on the street corner where Diamond worked. Diamond worked as a call – girl and was at her usual spot where all her regulars come to pick her up. Sheila had just had her baby and had been thrown out by her boyfriend who said he did not want her or her lousy baby anymore and that they had to find somewhere else to live. Sheila had no work permit and was illegally living in the country when she met him. She had no relatives or close friends to turn to given that she came to the country as a war child from another country seeking refugee status. She was put straight into the care system until she turned 18 and then got chucked out and told to return to her country. There was nothing and no one to return to. She lost everything years ago and honestly believes that she would have died had there not been an invisible hand guiding her path all this time. Well, her trials and struggles both from her childhood and during her time in the Care System, those are long stories not to be remembered today.
Luckily for her, Diamond found her that night. The night that horrible boyfriend of hers threw her and his 3 month old baby out. Diamond found her crouched in a corner on this same high street covered with some cardboards to keep both herself and her baby warm. She took them both home to her small flat above the shoe repairer’s shop. They have been inseparable ever since. Best friends for life. Diamond introduced her to prostitution soon after. Now, she spends her day taking care of her baby and the night prowling the street with Diamond, looking for customers and playing hide and seek with the police.
Sheila quietly thought to herself; ‘fridays are good nights, they each will get at least two customers tonight which will put some much needed money in their pockets. ‘I do not enjoy this lifestyle but there is no other way to survive’ She reasoned with herself. ‘Maybe one day, I will save enough money to…..’ She wasn’t sure what she will save for. Infact, she wasn’t certain about anything as far as the future is concerned. Lately, she has not been liking friday nights because one of her regular customers who says he is a Solicitor working in the city has been bugging her to tell him more about herself, to give up the lifestyle, with promises that he will take care of her. But once bitten, twice shy. It is hard to trust anyone now, anyone except Diamond. It is especially hard to trust any man. Despite how she feels about people and about the future, she just has to take one look at her son and realise that she cannot help but want a better life for him. Anyway, this customer always pays her well but insists that he does not want to have sex with her. He just wants to talk. He unsettles her but seems kind too, in a strange sort of way. Come to think about it, what will a good kind man be doing seeking the company of a prostitute? He tells her that he sees a light shining in her eyes. According to him, a person’s eyes are the windows to their soul. He tells her that he thinks her soul is beautiful and that she deserves better things from life than what she appears to be involved in.
Tonight she will find out more about him and what he is really about. Tonight she will treat him like a person instead of just a customer. She was so deep in thought she did not hear Diamond whispering. Anyway Diamond is not the whispering type. She is the shouting type. Diamond takes life by the horns and rides hard. Her slogan is, Life does you no favours so why should you do it any favours? She jokingly always says that she is a diamond in the rough, you have to look closely to see her sparkle. But Sheila has always known that underneath the hardened exterior is a very loving person who deserves better than the hand life has dealt her. Diamond was and will always be her guardian angel. Friends for life.
‘Why are you whispering Diamond’? Asked Sheila. ‘Look!’ Diamond responded, staring straight ahead. There he stood, waiting; her regular customer, the one who wants no sex. He was dressed differently today, in a suit and a tie, looking really smart and posh. He had a bouquet of flowers in one hand. He was smiling at them as they walked towards him. As they got nearer, he went down on one knee and began to say the words that Sheila thought she will never hear as long as she lives.
He said ’tonight, I come to ask you to marry me, Sheila. I have come to love you, although I know you think I do not know much about you. I lost my wife two years ago and until I met you, I have not wanted to be with anyone else. The night we met, I was not looking for a prostitute. I had decided to end my life that night and thought I will do it as far away from my home as I could. So I came this way. When I saw you, I knew straight away what you were doing standing there soliciting for customers with your beautiful eyes. Your eyes….. they looked so haunted, so sad, almost as sad as I was feeling, but there was a light shining through at the same time. I just wanted to be with you, to talk to you. You took my mind off my own misery for a few hours by just listening and giving me the attention you did that night. I was not interested in sex but I wanted to see you again so I decided to go back home and come again the following week. You have made me want to live again and I want to live with you. I want us to have a life together. Will you marry me?’
Sheila was speechless. To say she was shocked would have been an understatement. Even Diamond was shocked into silence. The silence was deafening as they both waited for Sheila’s response?
All Sheila could think about was that this must be a dream. If she just stands very still she might wake up any minute now… any minute now…… any minute now…..