Her name doesn't matter. All that matters is that life was once perfect. To her.
She was living abroad. Finally free.
She arrived at the promised land aware that she had a clean slate. In a land where not a soul knew her. Her past mistakes were forgotten.
Suffice to say, she wasn't naive. She knew that living abroad wouldn't be easy. There would be hard times, and she would have to survive. But this moment, this moment was perfect. That's all that mattered.
So, that evening, she donned a sundress and enjoyed the last days of summer. Winter would come soon.
That evening, she lived out her fantasies. She mimicked a proper lady, went shopping, sat quietly on a bench in the park and watched people go about their lives.
She enjoyed her newfound peace and solitude. She rode around the city on her bicycle. In that moment, life was perfect.
Soon, winter came. And with winter, her world fell apart.
First, her coins weren't enough anymore. It was only a matter of time before her landlord would knock on her door.
She had always known that she was resourceful. She didn't know how and when, but she could fix this.
So, she went door to door asking for work.
After several weeks without success, the doubts began. This surely wasn't going to be her life. A life filled with anxiety and hunger.
A little while later, she moved out of her home that overlooked the beautiful river to a place that would accommodate her altered life. A shared space.
When her friends found out about the new place, they offered to visit. She couldn't let them. The pitiful look in their eyes was too much for her. Things were different now, she was different.
So, she lived in solitude. Afraid of dawn, because with each new day, came the uncertainty.
Finally, she got the call. There was a family that needed help with their children. There was a catch, though. They couldn't pay cash. She had to get a bank account.
Every day after work, on an empty stomach, she walked to different banks with the determination to open up an account that day. And every day, she was turned away. They said that her salary wasn't sufficient enough to open an account.
After standing in line at the bank all day, she went home with the same disappointed look in her eyes.
The following morning, she packed boiled spaghetti in a plastic container and headed to work. Her hope for a decent meal was long gone.
As the children enjoyed baguette and exotic cheese for lunch, she sat by herself in a corner and ate the cold pasta. Sometimes, when the kids weren't looking, she would sneak some of their cheese into her mouth.
At night, she boarded the train, sat and cried silently all the way home. The other passengers were oblivious to her sorrow.
Soon, she resorted to walking to work. Money was really tight. Plus, the bus depressed her. She could not stop crying once she got onto the bus. It always reminded her of her reality; she was on her way to a job that didn't pay.
That was her life. A life without a home, friends or family.
One day, with all intent, she walked straight into the road. Without looking left or right. She'd had enough of the misery. All hope was lost. She didn't care anymore. She was convinced that death was her only hope.
She was tired. Tired of the fear. Tired of the sadness. Tired of the ache in her throat. Tired of the hunger.