Thursday, 21 November 2013

Rosa's Story

Depressed, from southeast London

One day my husband never came home, and when I rang the company where he worked, a kind woman said that he hadn't been to work for a few days, and if he did eventually turn up he would be fired. I felt angry and confused, and I needed to talk to my husband to see why he had stopped going to work, and how were we going to pay the rent and put food on our table. He never showed up that night, so I rang his brother, who said to me that I had completely ruined his brother's life, and because of that he had returned to Portugal, to try and salvage his life. He then said that I wasn't to call any more, and that I only had myself to blame if my life was falling apart. That was the last time I ever spoke to my brother-in-law.
There is a church at the end of my street, and although it's not a catholic church, it's a church all the same, and it's a place that provided me with much comfort in those early days of despair, when I was alone and abandoned. The old priest soon took an interest in me, and when I recounted my terrible life, since my husband had left me, he said that I had every reason to feel lonely, although God was always with me. I remember that I smiled, and because I was no longer sensitive, kind or naïve, I thought to myself that I had no interest in what the old man thought, and that I was getting stronger every day, and that I only went to the church on days when my resolve was temporarily broken by a sudden and unexpected bout of depression. The old man then said he could help me get a job, which is what I needed, if I was to avoid living like a dog on the the streets.
He found work for me in a factory, where I was expected to make small toys for a poor wage, whilst having to work long hours. The factory was within walking distance of my flat, and through rain and snow, five days a week, forty-eight weeks a year, I would take the same route to work, where I would position myself behind my table, and spend eight hours of my day making playthings for children, whilst trying not to injure myself with my tools. At first, I was useless, but as time progressed I became more experienced, and I soon became expert in my job.
To start with my colleagues were cold towards me, because I was a foreigner, and most of them were English. But one of the girls was Spanish, and in no time we became the best of friends, and started to see each other out of working hours. Maria was just a few years younger than me, and she was married to a kind Englishman, who owned a garage in north London. I was jealous of her, and I wanted her life.
Knowing Maria made me happier than I had been for some time, and through her I met other people, and started to socialise for the first time in years. I was hardly ever at home in my tiny flat, but for all of the friends I made, there was never a man who wanted to take me in his arms, and tell me that he loved me. And if that wasn't enough to make me sad, and make me want to weep, the day Maria died was the day when everything I had started to build came crashing down around me.
She was too young and beautiful to die, and I asked myself that if there was a God, why hadn't he taken me – old and ugly – instead of such a popular and loving girl. The friends I had made through Maria soon forgot about me, and even though I tried hard to block out the feelings of utter sadness and loneliness, I found myself heading down into a pit of depression, from which I knew I would never emerge, because I was too tired to fight, and past caring.

There are no trees where Rosa lives.

Rosa appears in "The Londoners" trilogy. Her life is not worth living, but on she goes...
If you want to read about her, and some of the other characters drifting through life in southeast London, get your copy of "The Londoners" trilogy today, via Amazon for Kindle.

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