Last summer was one of the hottest on record. The streets were full of prams and teenagers, pavements sticky with melted Twisters. I have a friend who has a friend called Rose who, in August, was waiting for a bus into Camden. At the bus stop a woman sat blankly while in the pram next to her, her baby cried. It wasn’t a regular cry, she said, it was a scream, like an exhausted, in-pain scream. The woman was bent forward. People were staring as they passed. After a few minutes, Rose asked if she was OK. The mother looked up from her lap. “She never stops crying,” she said. “She hates me.” They talked for a few minutes, over the screams. The bus was late. “Maybe she’d like you to pick her up?” Rose suggested. “Sometimes they just want to be held.” The mother sighed and balanced the baby on the very edge of her knee. Except, when she took the baby out of the pram, Rose noticed bruises. On the baby’s cheek, and on her neck, and then the bus came. What would you do? This is what I keep thinking. What would I do? So much of… Read full this story
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