Sprawled on the grey-speckle floor of the sleep-lit airport, with those white beam lamps reaching themselves in to my eyes
to squeeze and wrap around them in beaten pain, we wait for our plane. I am almost catatonic by now; the hassle of dragging the boy through such a crowded environment has left the two of us drained. Now, he lolls next me on the ground. Poor child- he is but five years old. Unconscious, he caves in on himself, wrapped up as if a foetus. It’s cliche, but he looks so much calmer when he is asleep. The lines already wearing themselves upon his brow unfurrow, his hunched shoulders drop, he breathes less shallowly. But his mother’s womb was a dark place; one where he was not cared for. A pang of pity rises within me, and I draw my arms around him. I do it gingerly. I know he could flinch and startle awake if I grasp him too hard. He is fragile: his very bones give the impression of being close to snapping, his hair is thin like a child younger than he is, and the meat and sinews rigging his frame appear withered.