‘I don’t want a fuss made,’ said Miriam.
‘Nonsense. This deserves recognition. You’ve worked really hard.’ The woman on the phone was insistent, but gentle in her tone.
Miriam screwed up her nose, and with her bottom lip trembling, said, ‘It’s not my style.’
‘But this is a huge deal, Miriam. You’ve raised so much money for our Bonanza Weekend. The funds will go towards upgrading our shelters and providing non-perishable packs for women and children in need.’
‘Yes, I know that. But I just don’t want any recognition.’
‘Miriam, you’re a fine example of a kind-hearted, generous soul. Here at Rosie’s Home, we believe in showcasing that. You know, so others can be motivated to do the same.’
Miriam sighed. Her mind was spinning, remembering her own harrowing past. In barely a whisper, she said, ‘Many moons ago, I was in need of this kind of place. But there was nothing like it. After finally becoming free, living in hiding for five years until I felt sure I was safe, I vowed that I would give whatever I could, whenever I was able to support these refuges. They’re important. Society shouldn’t need them, but we do.’
‘You’re so ki—‘
‘Let me finish,’ Miriam interrupted, not unkindly. ‘I don’t want a fuss made, because of my past. I’ve built a safe haven for myself and importantly, my children, who are all grown with lives of their own now, but I don’t want the past rehashed. Nor do I want any chance, minuscule though it may be, for my ex-husband to seek me out and begin terrorising me again.’ She paused for a beat. ‘Do I make myself clear?’
‘Yes Miriam. Very clear. Thank you for your donation. You can be assured that we will keep it as anonymous.’
‘Thank you. Good day to you.’