Somewhere between Palmgroove and Bariga, at one of those indistinguishable bus stops, they got into the 7-seater bus/car thing.
She is about eight years old, can’t be more than nine while the boy hasn’t seen his fifth birthday yet. He got into the vehicle first, a lady in the middle row guided him to the back where he stood beside me until his sister got in.
They paid for one seat and chattered animatedly about a party or something else as innocently childish while the bus continued its journey to Bariga. At the last bus stop, I got down before them as I was closer to the door and I stopped to look around and get my bearings. I have never been to that part of Bariga before.
The girl jumped out after me and focused on the bag she was carrying, checking to ensure the contents didn’t leak or something.
“Come down,” she shouted at her brother, without taking her eyes off the bag she was inspecting.
I exhaled and carried the cute boy off the vehicle and he toddled off to join her, she still didn’t lift her head to look at him. As I walked away from them, a dozen scenarios played across my mind. What if the driver drove off with the boy? What if I had carried him and sprinted off? What if someone else carried him off?
What would make anyone send a little girl to the market and allow her to go with a younger child? Not only was she too young for such an errand, she also had no sense of responsibility for the safety of her brother.
If something bad happens, not only will the person who sent them on this errand lie about sending them out, the idiot would also blame the Devil. The innocent Devil who was on his own, smoking his pipe or something.
These children not only looked healthy and well dressed, even with their childish diction it was easy to tell they were going to good schools. Did their parents even know what they were up to? Could they sitting somewhere toiling to provide a good life for these kids while their caregiver was sitting with a lover and sent them out so they could have more time for clandestine activities.
It would not be the first time this kind of thing has happened.
Being a parent is scary and being a good one, astronomically so.