A poor mother, trying to feed her sick little boy, sings at a subway station in exchange for alms. One day a rich man recognized the words of the song and knelt before her, weeping like a lost lamb finding its mother.
Rachel sat on the subway platform and watched people walking past her. As she watched passengers preparing to board the train, she realized that the next departing subway train was just around the corner. But Rachel didn’t get on the subway in time.
“Mom, I’m hungry and my leg hurts,” came the frail, desperate voice of Dave, her sick six-year-old son, lying in her lap.
Rachel knew she had no money left after she had spent it all on lunch. She put the empty cup in front of her and began to sing a song that was close to her heart…
The people who were distracted by her soft voice didn’t seem to notice her pain. Most were busy with their phones, some were looking for a coin or two to toss into her cup, and others didn’t even bother to look at her.
Rachel didn’t care about their ignorance. She was looking for a handout in exchange for a song she had been humming all her life, the same one she always sang to her young son to put him to bed.
“That song? I’ve heard it before. But who sings it? And how does she know the words?”
“God, please help me get through this hardship. Even if all these people put in one coin each, I would have enough for dinner and medicine for my son,” she thought as she sang.
After a few minutes, Rachel heard coins falling into her cup. She did not smile and raised her eyes painfully to thank the passer-by through her tears.
A few minutes passed as Rachel continued to sing the song over and over again. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first. The train arrived and people began to board, while several others exited the underground wagons, heading towards the main exit en masse.
Rachel paused for a moment to check on her son. “Dave, honey, just a few more minutes. And then you’re going to get out of here, okay?”
Dave sighed heavily. He was hungry and suffering from an injured leg. Two days ago Dave had fallen down during a game. It had happened in the same car park where mother and son usually slept on a pile of old cardboard boxes collected from the rubbish dump.
The train rushed past the platform, bringing Rachel back to reality. She coughed, adjusted her voice and began humming the tune again. But this time, the rich man who had just stepped off the train was eerily attracted by her voice and words. He turned out to be 27-year-old Jeffrey, who somehow realised that he had heard the song before.
“That song? I’ve heard it before. But who sings it? And how does she know the words that only my grandmother, my sister and I knew?” – he wondered, approaching Rachel’s location.
As Jeffrey walked to the voice he heard, tears slowly welled up in his eyes. Rachel was immersed in her tender melody as the man’s large shadow covered her while distracting her.
“My god! Rachel, is that you? Lord, I’m so sorry,” Jeffrey said, crying and falling to his knees. “Please forgive me for doing this to you, sister.”
Rachel’s heart began to beat fast, as if it wanted to escape from her chest, because at that moment all her past pain washed over her.
“My brother? My God, Jeffrey, is that you?” she said.