An apple, a banana and a vegetable sandwich. “This is my lunch,” said she to no one in particular. Like most days, she was alone at home while her parents were away at work. Her mother would hurriedly put together two meals for Sana in the morning before she left. It was only last week that her father had caught her throwing food in the dustbins outside her ground floor apartment. Her parents had sat her down that night asking her if she had an eating disorder and had spoken to her about hungry children who didn’t have the luxuries she did.

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The next day, Sana threw her food out again. This time, from a tiny window near her kitchen floor, which led to a disused shared backyard. It wasn’t an eating disorder. She simply could not bring herself to eat the healthy and boring food her folks seemed to strictly insist on. The new hiding place was perfect. No one used that window and their backyard had been left unattended for years. Her parents would never find out, thought Sana as she opened the window day after day to leave the food out.

The Victory Did Not Last Forever For Sana

A few months later, Sana’s mother quit her job to stay at home and peruse her writing career. Sana was left with no choice but to eat whatever she was given without any complaints. On her way home from class one day, Sana ran into a shabbily-dressed, grimy girl of about seven begging by a tree near her house. She stopped to offer the child a packet of chips. The girl snatched the packet from her hand and broke into a run. Sana ran after her, only to see the girl disappear into the run-down backyard through a hole in the compound wall. After struggling, and failing to fit through the wall, it struck her then that the tiny window near her kitchen looked out onto the backyard.

 She ran indoors to the window and opened it to find the little girl eating the chips in the yard. The girl stood up, startled to see Sana.“It’s alright. Don’t be afraid,” said Sana. “Why are you here?” she asked, hoping the girl would not confirm what she feared. “I used to find food here everyday, I only came here to check if there was any.” Sana’s heart sank. The girl meanwhile ripped open the packet of chips licking the crumbs off her fingers. “I have to go now, I don’t want to get into trouble”.“Wait,” said Sana, as she rummaged in her bag to find an orange and some candy which she then handed to the girl through the window. “Come back tomorrow and meet me in front of the house,” she said. “Bring your friends”.

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