Courage does not come with age.

She sat quietly in the corner of the class. At the edge of the seat. She was staring at the blackboard in front of her, thoughts wandering elsewhere. The teacher was writing in white. Her classmates were copying. Her partner nudged her out of her reverie, beckoned her to scribble along.

She nodded, picking up the pen. She didn’t want to land in more trouble. Few minutes later, the last bell of the day rang. It was the last day before summer vacations! The children had already started putting their books in the bags. Seeing their excitement, even the teacher stopped talking and took leave after wishing them a happy vacation. She was still closing her books, capping her pens and putting them in her school bag taking her own sweet time.

She could see the other students running out of the school doors past her classroom window. Everyone was so excited! She wanted to feel the same. She knew she wouldn’t. She would have to go back to a house where the father worked through the day and drank through the night, the mother cried through the day and worked through the night and an elder brother who should have been there for them, but found it easier to elope with the belle of the slum.

She wished she could run away too. But she did not want to let her mother suffer alone. No, she would go home. She would study. She would complete her holiday homework too. She would.

With sagging shoulders and a head hung low, she walked out of those school doors not letting the tears stream down her cheeks.

Graciously Yours!

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