Um Khalil has chronic headaches. Her tooth needs ﬁlling, but that will have to wait. Her two adolescent boys changed school this year, and she is squirreling away pennies for cold winter days when they will need to take a taxi to its distant location.
She is glad her husband has ﬁnally found work, but who knows how long that will last. He’s not known for holding down jobs.
Four months ago, the landlord visited. He gave the family one week to come up with the nine months of rent they owed. When the deadline came, there were young men from the neighbourhood there to ‘persuade’ him to back off. Just in case, Um Khalil has made friends
with the neighbour, who happens to be the landlord’s son.
This is how Um Khalil copes, managing from day to day to escape the spectres of hunger and homelessness. Daily, she stitches together the semblance of a manageable life.
But when do those fragile seams burst?