Rama opened her eyes to Mano’s pale face, her hair every which way.
“How long have you been here?”
“Since last night. I thought you were dead, but Aunty Judith said you were sleeping.” Tears streamed down Mano’s face.
Rama reached up to wipe them with her fingers.
“Don’t cry, darling. God will heal me. Everything’s fine.”
Mano buried her face on the bed next to her mother, her words coming out in muffled gulps.
“You can’t keep rushing everywhere all the time. You never rest. You don’t eat properly. You have to let me help. Let me take care of you.”
Mano raised her tear stained face.
“Don’t send me back to school. Let me stay until you recover.”
Rama felt the cracks in Mano’s heart and willed herself to be strong.
“Mano,” she whispered, “Can you hear me?”
“I want to have you with me. I want you to be my closest confidant. But you must finish school first.”
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