She was ten!

She was ten!

She was ten,

What did she know?

She was in fifth grade

Or maybe the fourth!

She doesn’t remember.

He was forty,

The Bitch.

He was retired.

He was her neighbour.

She didn’t know what was happening.

Her memory is bad.

She remembers vague things!

Not wanting to be in the lift with him

Because she didn’t understand

Why he was putting his hand up her shirt!

Her parents had to go to office.

Offices don’t

Give as many holidays

As schools do!

Sometimes,

She wished that her school wouldn’t give

Those unnecessary holidays either.

She remembers

Sitting behind her bed,

Playing with her Barbie dolls!

Making sure that they were safe!

From everything and everyone.

But he had the key to her house.

He was the

Trustworthy neighbour

After all!

She heard the key turning in the lock

And hoped that it was the maid.

It wasn’t.

It was him. Again!

And the holiday after that,

The key turned in the lock. Again!

And it wasn’t her maid.

She loved her father

More than her mother at that age!

Or so she thought.

She hadn’t reached that stage!

Where she would say

“Baba doesn’t understand anything!”

One night,

Her father was travelling.

It was a Sunday

And she had school the next day.

She was sleeping

Next to her mother for a change!

It was ten thirty

And she felt that it had been

A Special day

Because she was supposed to

Sleep at nine thirty every night.

She doesn’t remember

What the conversation was about.

But in that moment,

She remembers feeling closer to her mother than she had in a long time!

She doesn’t remember why.

She doesn’t remember how

She told her mother about it.

She doesn’t remember how she felt!

After telling her mother about it.

She doesn’t know

What her mother said

To him

Or his wife.

She doesn’t know.

But she remembers

That after that day

He never touched her again.

She never spoke about it.

She never thought about it.

Apart from those moments

Where everything wrong in her life

Came to her at once!

And mind you,

She claimed to have

Six “best friends” whom she told

Everything to!

Until

She read

The perks of being a wallflower

Seven years later.

She read the last page

And the tears started to flow.

She never cried after a book.

But she did then.

And she called her best friend.

The bestest of the six!

And cried on the phone for a while

Without saying any words!

And the bestest of the six

Just held on to her side of the phone.

Without saying any words.

Because sometimes

That’s all you need.

To cry

And not understand why.

Why her?

Why him?

Why anyone??

One day,

They were in the lift together.

She kept her distance

Obviously!

There was a palpable tension

In the air

For some reason.

And he asked

“Are you still angry with me?”

 She kept silent

And walked out of the lift

As soon as it reached

The ground floor, it said!

Obviously she was still angry,

You fool.

She was ten!

 

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About the Author: This article is contributed by Aashna Banerjee, our Intern.

 

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