On one of the mornings I had to rush out earlier than usual (I had to drop my sister off at the park and pick something up before going to work), I left home at 6 A.M, it was still dark, dawn had hardly broken.
I drove out of the gate and behold right in front of the neighbour’s house, I saw two children seated outside, a girl and a boy who couldn’t have been more than five or six and three years old respectively. Surprised, I called out to them and asked ‘what are you doing here’ and the girl responded, her voice rough either from lack of enough sleep or being upset at having to wait out there in the dark. ‘We are waiting for our school bus.’ I was stunned, at that time? So many questions ran through my head. I asked another question, ‘where is your mummy’ and she said ‘inside’. I do not mean to be judgmental but I wondered, how cruel could a mother be? What school bus comes to pick children at this time, instantly I looked at my clock and it 6:07A.M.
Lost in my thoughts, my sister’s voice brought me back to reality when she asked ‘where is your school’. From the little girls’ response, the distance from the house to school could not be more than fifteen minutes at the maximum. It is certain that the school bus would have a round of pick ups but 6A.M I thought was too early to put young children outside while the adults stayed comfortably inside. It was dark, there could be creeping things, and anything could happen to those children. My sister and I deliberated on asking them to go inside but we decided against it. Who knows? That could be normal to them.
Since I had those children on my mind as I drove on, I deliberately looked for children in cars and I saw so many, some asleep, some looking like they were sulking but for one who chatted happily away with her father.