Whilst strolling through some quiet back lanes the other day alongside a local girl, the two of us came across a friend of hers. The girls greeted each other as we passed ourselves with some textbook Spanish exchanged - 'Hola, como estas?' - 'bien y usted?' On passing the other girl up, my companion soon told me about her friend. The tale not being something I was expecting to hear.
'Ella tiene tres hijos ya - pero con quinze anos Ben' she told me softly. I was utterly shocked. I believe I asked her to repeat herself. On confirmation that the girl was indeed a 15 year-old-mother of three I took a few seconds and threw out another question. I asked when she had the first child. The answer being at 11 years of age.
My head tends to swim on hearing such things, questions filing my mind like 'what kind of animal impregnates an 11 year-old?' to 'how on earth does the girl cope?' etc... I have been thinking about the girl, about how her life has been robbed from her - that at 15 years of age she has not just one but three children to care for. Motherhood being a responsibility for life. The grandest of responsibilities for a woman surely. Three children from 11 to 15 years is something just deplorable.
What of that girl's dreams or desires - what of her innocence at 11 years - what of her as a person? How could someone (I refuse to call the father a man) violate the life of a little girl as has been done so abhorrently with this young lady? I saw the same girl later that night on my being invited to Church. There she was with two of her children, a tiny boy and a tiny girl.