MY BIRTH 2
My father was from Mauritius, also called Sister Island. As the war raged in Europe, my father often went to Reunion to sell goods. He traveled by boat, carrying suitcases filled with rag bag and went up and down the paths of the highs to sell his goods. This was how he earned his livings. My mother came from a large family in the mountains. Many families left the city to shelter in the highs, fearing that the Germans could bomb the capital. My mother was the fifth child of a Christian family and she was twenty years when she first met my father. She was beautiful, with a clear complexion, long brown hair and pointed nose.
The first time my father saw her was on a Sunday morning as she came back from the church of the Délivrance in Saint-Denis. He was struck by her beauty, her nonchalant walk, her ease but he was not in love with her yet. My father was 22 years old at that time. Combed like Rhett Butler in Gone with the wind, a thin mustache above the lips, he was charming and exalted a charisma that left no woman insensible. But my mother was not attracted to him. She lived in a family with many children and all her time was taken by her brothers and sisters and the daily household chores. Her father worked in a furniture workshop at the Port. He left the house very early in the morning and came back late in the evening. Her mother was sick and could not manage to do the household chores alone. Sylvia, was my mother’s name. Her three elder sisters were already married and lived in other cities and villages of the island. His elder brother who had already graduated worked in a transport company in the west. He lived in a flat in La Possession, some kilometers from his workplace. A girl he met at the vocational school when he was a student lived with him. He paid visit to them once or twice in a month. Three brothers and two sisters aged between eight and seventeen were still dependent on their parents. The three brothers were boarders in a high school situated in Saint-Denis and the two sisters were students at the school in La Montagne. They left early in the morning and returned home at five in the afternoon. My mother picked them up at the end of the path, most of the time with an umbrella, as it often rained in that region.