Immediately Gem is engaging, breathlessly sparkly and making good eye contact which is strange for me as most if not all people talk via the windscreen. You’re happy! I say with a big smile, ‘No’ she replies and sighs. ‘I’m trying to get my daughter back, she is four next month and they won’t let me see her’ My first surprise is that she was old enough to even have children, she being so small, I would have guessed her age at 14ish maybe a bit older. She is 23. ‘It’s my ex-boyfriend he hurt her while I was at work’ I took her to the doctors, not knowing… Her face is wet. ’I will get her back. He hurt her. He hurt her… I have stopped the cab for a while now, just listening.
Do I have a judgement? Do I dare? I believed her, a combination of harsh association with a vicious child man/boyfriend that stubbed cigarettes out on a child. He disappeared, left her with the burden of loss. Her family has left her with that burden too. She does not have boyfriends anymore and is at college. Her incredible fortitude and positive outlook looked unshakable, not a victim, not a ‘poor me.’
That was eight years ago.
Very recently, I saw her. A small young woman with another small young woman both exactly the same size coming out of Boots in St Leonards, was it her daughter that was with her? It was. How sure am I? I know how mums are with their children. She was simply being a mum and my face was wet that’s how I know.