Her body is no longer her own. She crouches in the dark, her eyes dry from the lack of tears as she holds on tightly to her own body, rocking herself from side to side. In all these years, she’s never felt more horrible than she did then. Her mascara runs down her cheeks and her dress clings to her own body as she suffocates in the closed room. At a distance, the water runs in the bath tub and she shivers though she’s nowhere close to it. The heat from her own tears boil her skin and she does not know what to do with her life anymore.
It started last year, when she finished her schooling and decided to become a dancer. Her parents would not hear of it though and so she wept thinking maybe her tears would calm them down and change their minds. But then, they heard none of her desperation and so she was left being sent off to work in a place far away from her own home. It took her ages to get used to the people around her, to share a room with three other girls, to live on her own and to change her entire lifestyle. From 17 years of dependency, she had to become independent in a matter of six months. That transition was nearly impossible for her to make and she did not think she would get through it. But somehow, she did and eventually she gathered the courage to ask to pursue her dreams.
All it took was one phone call to home to break her longing heart as her parents stuck to their words and refused to change their minds. Hers was now a heart of stone and she wallowed in self pity for a month before she finally realised that she was her own individual which meant she could do as she pleased with her life. But still, because she was a girl of honour and could not lie to her own family, she decided she wouldn’t quit her job. Instead, she’d take up dancing at night. It took her ages to gather the money and the will power to do what her heart desired and not less than a couple of months ago, she finally paid a huge cheque and got herself enrolled into one of the finest dance schools in the city.
It went fine for a few months and she locked her shy self in the washroom, practicing her new dance moves until one night, this very night, when she was walking home around 10 in the night, darkness descended upon her in the form of three huge men. No matter how much she tried to scream, their arms grabbed her in places she never let anyone touch her and in a matter of minutes,what she heard about and watched on television happened to her. Never in a million years did she think that this was what rape was about. No, she’d always imagined it to be far better and much less painful. But more than the hurt and the bruises that she’d carry for a lifetime was the ego that she managed to damage forever. Now, sitting in that room of hers, her heart having shattered into a million pieces, she cried endlessly for the purity she would never get back and for the childish innocence she lost. She wondered if her parents had been right all along, that she didn’t have what it took to be a dancer.
She wondered if she’d ever have the courage to do anything ever again. For a long time, she neither worked nor did anything to fend for herself. She refused to eat and drink, wanting to make herself suffer because for some silly reason she thought it was her fault. Stepping into the bath tub, into the water that was so cold that it made her want to cry but not as cold as her heart would be for the remaining years in her life, she closed her eyes and took a shuddering breath as she submerged her entire self into the water. Till she was one with it. Disturbing thoughts of blood and suicide rushed to her head but she shook them off and resurfaced, gasping and trembling for air.
15 years passed after that incident but she didn’t seem to be able to forget that horrible night. She never danced again. Though it was never the fault of her dance, she felt as if it were the reason behind her having lost her charm. When her parents first told her that they wanted to get her married, she vehemently opposed, stating that she wanted time. When they asked her why, she didn’t have an answer and she tried to come up with excuses, with reasons that would let her be by herself but none of them worked and in six months, she was married. When her husband first tried to touch her, she shied away, worried and scared because it reminded her of that night so many years ago. But when he threatened to file for divorce, she gave in and let him do whatever he pleased with her. Now, a married woman with three kids, two boys and one girl, all of them unaware of the deep disturbance caused in her childhood, she seemed to lead a happy life for the sake of her family.
But deep down where no one could see,that terrorised girl remained.
Perhaps, she always would.