To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
Aminata paced up and down along the sill of the front window for 15 minutes after Ousman left for school. Binta wondered whether Aminata hoped Ousman would sneak back home and she suspected that Ousman would have liked to. Ousman had seemed disappointed that he was going to miss out on going to the hospital that day.
Mamadou came inside carrying a roll of drawings of the garden he’d designed for Gina and Penny. Binta didn’t think that Penny or Gina would be very interested in building a garden when they didn’t have a house anymore but Mamadou was confident that once they saw his design they would want to start straight away.
There was another barrier to Mamadou starting his gardening business though. Binta had discovered that not only was Mamadou’s visa temporary, but it also didn’t allow him to work. Binta thought that was very mean and hoped that they could get the conditions changed.
Mamadou wasn’t as upset as Binta. He didn’t mind there being a barrier to him earning money and he was determined that it wasn’t going to stop him from building gardens. He could see that Binta was upset though and realised that she’d been looking forward to running his business.
At the hospital Mamadou and Binta found Gina sitting next to Penny’s bed. Gina and Penny were happy to see Binta and Mamadou, and Penny was extra pleased when she noticed that Mamadou was carrying a roll of drawings.
“They discharged me this morning” said Gina. “But I don’t really want to go… I can’t go home and I don’t want to leave Penny”
“Tell her not to worry about me” said Penny. “I’m going to be out of here soon too… in a few days”
Mamadou was very pleased with this news. He’d been really worried about Penny. Mamadou wanted to show his drawings but thought it was too early in the conversation.
“India has been working hard to create a kind of home for you at her place” said Binta.
“Yes, I should show appreciation for what India is doing for us” said Gina. “What if you take me there when you leave? If I return to our street with company it won’t be as painful”
Mamadou and Binta were happy with this suggestion, and Penny tried to look happy too, but inside she was sad that she had to stay behind in hospital. To take her mind off this she asked Mamadou to show her his drawings.
Gina looked over Penny’s shoulder as she unrolled the drawings. There were ten pages. The first page was a garden plan and the next 8 pages were views from different angles and drawings of some of the details, including the outdoor shower. Penny and Gina made approving noises as they looked at these pages, but it was the final page that they found really exceptional. It was of a cute little house that was almost completely hidden in the garden. The door and some windows were visible but the roof was covered in garden.
“You’ve designed us a new house too!” said Penny.
“Yes. I hope it isn’t too soon to start thinking about what you might build. I hope I haven’t gone too far. This is what the house of a real garden lover should look like”.
“I would love to live in that house” said Gina.
“So would I” said Penny. “I would hate to move to a normal house now that we have nothing to put in it. It would feel so empty. But this little house would be so cosy and comfortable.
Mamadou looked at Binta and was happy to see that she was smiling.