What's in His Bag?

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2.37PM. Waiting room, Gertrude Children Hospital, Donholm Branch. The guy seated across me has a pot belly that is stubbornly evident despite the white baggy shirt that he is wearing. A black mask sits tightly on his face. His broad forehead is so high that it seems as if it is eager to keep a safe distance from his sharp nose. His eyes are closed but he is not sleeping. Daydreaming? I wonder about what. I wonder too what’s in the black bag that is resting gently on his laps. It’s a laptop rucksack, sturdy and stylish, just like mine. Which means that probably, there is a laptop in it. What’s in that laptop? Photos of his kids’ birthdays and outings? Even more photos of his wife? I doubt. Judging from his drastically receded hairline and what seems like a lone wrinkle just below his left eye, he is probably in his early fifties. I doubt that he is taking monthly trips with his wife and consequently amassing hundreds of photos. That’s how hundreds of photos of Ma Reine (my queen) have been accumulating in my laptop lately.

Back to the middle-aged guy with a black bag. He opens his eyes and looks around frantically. Then he smiles. A smile so joyous that the wrinkle below his left eye disappears. I follow his gaze. Fiddling with the water dispenser a few meters away, is a little girl. She has her father’s high forehead.

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