Esther is Ishmael's nurse at Benin House, the rehabilitation center where he is brought after the war. She treats Ishmael's wounds and encourages him to talk about his experiences. “I told her the whole story about how I got shot, not because I really wanted to, but because I thought that if I told her some of the gruesome truth of my war years she would be afraid of me and would cease asking questions” (Beah 155). At first Ishmael only wanted to scare her but after a while he realized that she really does care for him.
There relationship became possible because of a quiz that the kids at the rehabilitation center took. It consisted of simple questions of what they liked to do. “Later, after I had been rehabilitated, I learned that Esther knew what I was interested in through the informal schooling at the center” (Beah 163). Thanks to this was that Esther knew about Ishmael’s interest in rap music that she bought him a Walkman and some cassettes of music he liked. “I sang for her the parts of the songs I had memorized that day. Memorizing lyrics left me little time to think about what had happened in the war... I grew comfortable with Esther (Beah 163). Even though his war experience had hardened Ishmael’s personality, Esther’s unconditional love and care brought back the boy inside him. He liked her because he could talk to Esther without feeling judged for what he did since constantly she reminded him sincerely that in reality it was not his fault.
People like Esther that really did care for the kids in the rehabilitation center is the reason most of them did overcome the demons that were hunting them, just like Ishamel.