Cynthia Dunham came across as a kind and generous woman. It wasn’t her appearance or her stature. She was taller and broader than most women and poorer than most too. And her struggle with hirsutism made her comparable to a werewolf who didn’t need a full moon to reveal its shaggy features.
But behind that extra facial hair, somewhere in those deep-set brown eyes lay an oasis of warmth. One look and it felt like home could be no other place but Cynthia’s tender gaze. And when the woman introduced herself, she only had one humble request.
‘Please call me, Cyn. It would mean the world to me.’
And who could be so indignant to oppose those beseeching eyes. That’s when Cynthia aka Cyn felt her homophonic namesake tingling within her.
She was ready to commit it.
Cynthia was a professional caregiver who had four hungry mouths of her own to feed. An absent drunk husband didn’t help the grim situation. So when she landed her next job, caring for an ageing couple suffering from dementia, she thanked the lord and asked him for forgiveness.
Cyn wasn’t without morals, but poverty made her struggle to uphold them.
The man still had some sense left in him. But the woman lay on the bed stiff as a vegetable, her digestive and excretory systems identifying her as something that was once human. So Cyn put her bets on the man. He was easily persuaded with spoons of honey and custard jelly tarts.
Probably bad for him, but not worse than dementia.
And he handed over his wallet and note pad with scribbled passwords. Cynthia ensured she made one transaction a week, the amounts never too noticeable. Her children began eating better, their gaunt faces gradually filling out at the cheeks.
Cyn bought herself a new pair of sneakers that didn’t bite and scrunch up her long toes. She walked with a new spring in her step, carefree and lighter.
But trouble soon arrived in the form of the old man’s younger brother. His words may have been wrong, but the bank statement in his hand didn’t lie. Cynthia was taken into custody, her offspring sent to a foster home.
She awaits trial. They dug out more dirt on her. Maybe her impeccable services and caring nature will save her. She still insists on being called Cyn, simply guilty of small sins.
Noorie and Steve Forever. That’s what she always wanted. So she made sure her darling stayed with her.