I remember seeing "ponder on" before in your writing. Use either "ponder over" or "reflect on" instead.Although Hannah held high moral principles, she was not a saint. She was aware of her own shortcomings and prejudices. A sense of shame would wash over her whenever she remembered the moment when her daughter, Malin, told her that she had a black boyfriend from Ghana. As soon as Malin left the room, Hannah sat at her computer and frantically searched on the Internet for the number of people infected with AIDS in that country. Her brain was working fast, and she tried to calculate the probability that her daughter’s boyfriend could be one of them. She fought off that disturbing thought, but it returned time after time. Please always use a condom, she wanted to warn Malin, but she bit her tongue, afraid of being misunderstood. If Malin was happy in her relationship, Hannah had no right to spoil her happiness
bybecause of her worries. concern.She sneaked looks at Thorsten to seelook for any signs of unease, but he remained impassive like a clam. She knew how he would react if she told him what was on her mind. “You’re paranoid,” he would say and laugh it off. Hannah admired him and was envious of his composure. It seemed to her that even the worst apocalypse would not a bit shatterdisturb his calm one slight bit.
One evening, Malin brought her boyfriend to dinner. John was a nice-looking and intelligent man who studied electronics and communication engineering and had ambitious plans for the future. Hannah put on a mask of a kind hostess, and she chatted amiably and served the three-course meal with
thea smile on her face to please her daughter. But behind the decorum, she was trembling like a sapling in a gale. When the guests left, she caught herself washing John’s plates, glass and cutlery three times. She shook her head in disbelief.
The next morning, she vacuumed her house more thoroughly than usual, as if some poisonous insects might havejumped out of John’s clothes and hidden in her expensive carpets. Her compulsion got the better of her again, and she was angry with herself. John was one of the kindest
persons who enteredpeople to visit her home and yet, her mind made up a picture of an ill African man whose goal was to abuse her daughter and infect her with his dangerous illness.
Later, she pondered on her irrational fear and understood that the root of it must have been in her trip to The Gambia many years ago. As a newly married couple, Thorsten and she wished to experience something exceptional, and at the same time, escape dark and cold Sweden. Africa awaited them with open arms, what with hot weather, beautiful beaches, excellent food and kind people. Unfortunately, it gave Hannah terrible diarrhoea, which kept her inside her hotel room for three days. When she recovered and walked around, she saw that many of her fellow female tourists did not come to enjoy beautiful beaches and warm weather but to have sex with young African men. Those middle-aged Swedish women, whose fat fingers groped at the muscular dark bodies, disgusted her.
She asked Thorsten if they could leave Banjul and travel
into the countryside, which they eventually did. There, in the villages, was no trace of sex tourists, but poverty was widespread. Social services and proper healthcare were non-existent, and some people shuffled around with their deformed limbs and haggard faces stretching out their gnarled arms and begging for money. She felt as if she had been transported hundreds of years back in time, and she started to panic. If Thorsten had not been beside her, she would have run off into the desert and certainly died of thirst and exhaustion. In the end, she let out a deep breathsigh of relief when the plane landed at Arlanda airport, and she was back in safety where everything functioned properly and where poverty was extinguished.
About three months
later sinceafter her first visit with her boyfriend, Malin burst into the house crying and was hardly able to speak. She hugged her mother, and through her sobbing and tears told her that her relationship with John was over. Hannah kissed her on the forehead, ruffled her wavy brown hair and said, “I’m so sorry.” She did not believe in God, but she thanked the higher powers who had taken a weight off her mind.
TO BE CONTINUED
Student or Learner