“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. Truth is everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”
Karine rushed to the pharmacy counter in the back of the chain drug store eager to get her prescriptions. There were several patrons already waiting in line, and her anxiety was getting the best of her. She had to leave before she ran into her son coming from school.
Her pride and joy.
He’d been blessed considering the lengths she’d gone to—the things she’d sacrificed to bring him into this world. She hated thinking of the side effects she’d endured with his birth or the obstacles he might have faced in his childhood. But so far it seemed he’d been spared.
Karine stilled as a little voice emerged behind her, momentarily silencing the noise in her head. She turned to find a girl singing some obscure song while browsing the children’s book aisle.
She was young, probably near first communion age, but she was beautiful. Her long braided pigtails rested on her school uniform as she scanned the children’s books on the shelf.
She plucked one off the shelf and sat on the floor in the aisle, singing and flipping through the pages.
“Serra? Serra? Kote’w ye la?” A man’s urgent, disembodied voice called, demanding to know where the girl was.
The child was on her feet in seconds then moving down the aisle to find her father. “I’m right here," she responded in Creole.
Karine was surprised the girl seemed to speak fluent Creole. She rarely spoke to Didier in her native tongue. It was one of the things she regretted not having the chance to do more of.
The girl’s father veered around his aisle passing Karine as he approached his daughter. “Bon, kisa’m tap di manman’w si yon bagay te rive’w? Si yon moun te pran’w? Enh, kisa’m tap fe?”
She smiled at the man’s protectiveness. He had scolded the girl, asking what he would have told her mother if something had happened to her.
Karine thought of what she would have given to have more children, a girl especially. She would have loved to have seen Samson with a daughter. Unfortunately, God had only blessed her with sons.
Next in line.
“Let’s go. We have to get your sisteh,” The girl’s father said.
But the girl didn’t follow her father. “Papi, can you buy this book for me.”
“Anodeh one, Serra?”
“Well, you have too many newspapers. Same thing, papi.”
Karine smiled. So did the girl’s father when he said, “Nan men ki moun ou pran frekan sa, pitit?”
“Ma’am, next in line please,” the pharmacist called again.
Karine finally came to. The pharmacist had caught the duo’s attention as well. Karine locked eyes with the girl just before turning for the counter, leaving them behind as the father gave in to his daughter’s simple request, but complaining all the while about his wife needing to get his girls a library card.
As she waited for her prescriptions, Karine felt almost envious. They seemed like a typical Haitian family. She’d had only a few healthy years with Didier. She was useless now. A body lacking the soul she’d exchanged for a few years of happiness. She wasn’t ashamed of what she’d done. She was now the proud mother of a healthy, intelligent, handsome young man. And she’d redo it all in a heartbeat if she ever needed to.