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There was a grim atmosphere in the village. Rosalin was in parents’ house. She stood silently starting out of the window overlooking the small river. This river where she spent most of her time with her friends, swimming and lazing in the flowing water. Her mother walked up and gently placed her arm around her should in warm assurance. Rosalin found this strange. Her mother never appeared so pleasant. She looked at her. There was tenderness in her mother’s eyes. Her mother didn’t have to be told that her daughter was in pain. She felt sorry for her darling Rosa. Her mother realized that her daughter had changed since her marriage to Antonio and with the death of her good friend Kayani, things had got worse. Her young and ever mischievous daughter had now matured into a sober woman.
Her father sat at the table silently. Her cousins too sat huddled on the floor in the corner of the room. They too could feel the unknown pain their cousin was undergoing.
Rosalin continued to stare at her mother. Her ever nagging mother was too silent today. It was as if she sensed her mood. She could see her mother’s eyes were moist and it disturbed her. She didn’t want to spoil her family’s mood. She smiled at her mother and hugged her gently as if assuring her that things are alright. They gently held on to each other and then the tears flowed slowly as they sobbed with a heavy heart.
A sudden commotion outside broke the trance. They looked towards the door as her father rushed towards it. Outside they could see that a horde of villagers had gathered outside in the courtyard. The villager elder folded his hand in salutation as he climbed the steps to meet her father at the door.
‘Pascal, I and all the villagers have come to offer our thanks. We sincerely appreciate the fact that our daughter Rosa was instrumental in getting our people released.’ The village elder looked at the small crowd and then peeped in the house to look at Rosalin, his face beaming a big smile.
Pascal looked around slowly. He nodded his head. ‘Rosa is the daughter of this village. You are all her family. She did what was right.’
Rosalin had walked up behind him and as she stepped aside, the crowd saw her. Before long, chants of ‘Hail Rosa, long live Rosa’ filled the air.
Her mother and cousins too had walked up. They all stared out at the crowd as the family wrapped their arms around each other in support of Rosalin. They were happy for her. She had done something good for the villagers and it felt nice to be appreciated.
Her mother looked at her daughter’s face. There was no expression whatsoever on Rosalin’s face as she stared solemnly at the rejoicing crowd.