I remember the weight of your body on my feeble frame. I remember which part of me hurt the most from having to carry you. I remember a lot of other things too. In fact, I think just about everything. Your hands pinning me down when you came in. Struggling under you, because I thought I stood a chance.
Your calloused hand on my mouth when I tried to scream. The coldness of the blade you put to my throat immediately after that. To tell me who was calling the shots here. This is when reality slapped me hard across the face; that it was going to happen, that you were willing to stop at nothing. I remember this is the point at which tears started pricking my eyes. “Oh, you have no reason to cry yet. Wait till I am done.” I can still hear your voice say those words.
I remember the pain that nearly made my body go limp. I have never felt anything like it in my life. There was the physical pain. That shot out from my lower body and went into every inch and corner of my body. And then there was the pain that gripped my heart at that moment, from the knife of betrayal going through it. I still don’t know what broke more painfully, my hymen or my heart.
I remember you going at it again, and again, and again. There are so many agains if I want to state the actual number of times. When you took a break, and walked back in with a glass of water. I guess what you were doing was a lot of hard work and you needed a refreshment. You probably expected me to try forge an escape at this point. But what would have been the point really? You had hurt me enough, I did not want you to hurt me more. But somehow, in retrospect, I wish I had tried. Maybe things would have been different.
You came back to me, and you flipped me over. Like a piece of meat on a grill. Like you were trying to make sure I burned evenly on both sides. And it started again. Same sword, different entry points, same body being stabbed.
I try not to remember how much time was spent. Until you finally achieved whatever it was you had set out to achieve. You picked me and my stained bedsheets. And like a pile of trash, you dropped us on the bathroom floor. And turned on the shower. You watched my broken-self for a while, then you walked away to dress up. I do not know at what point you left the house. All I know is I sat on that bathroom floor for a long time. A really long time. Shock, anger, disbelief, simultaneously running through my body. That is when the tears finally started streaming down. When the sobs started.
I collapsed just outside the bathroom door. I do not know for how long I was out. But I remember waking up and dragging myself to lock the door. In case you decided you wanted to come back.
Every night after that, when I closed my eyes to sleep, it was you I saw. I remembered the you I knew. And the you I saw that night. The arms that had shielded me from danger that had now proven to be danger itself. I saw the pain and hate in your eyes every single time I closed my eyes. It became the norm. Waking up drenched in sweat, heart pounding. Sometimes the physical pain would come back. You tormented me in my sleep. Until finally sleep became a memory of the past. Most nights were spent having nightmares awake.
You left a mark. That grew bigger each day. It was in my womb. A mark that would serve as a constant reminder of what had happened. I could have gotten rid of it. But I did not care about anything any more. Pain. Relief. Death. Life. They were all the same to me. Everything had become meaningless.
I remember waking up one night with a sharp pain. And blood stained panties. Somehow getting to hospital. The sympathy with which the nurse broke the news. I had lost my baby. Lord knows I did not want it, but the thought that I had lost something else pained me. She said a lot of things. She held me in her hands as I cried. She pressed a card in my hand. (A number to call for help. She could see I needed it.)
It became worse after this. My life became a blur. I merely existed. Waiting to drop dead. Starve to death. Torment myself to death. I did a lot of things to welcome death. Because I did not think of life as worth living. Years and years of blaming myself. Self-hate. Anger towards you. Angry with the Lord. There were so many emotions. More than I care to write about. More than I care to remember.
Six years, ten months. That is how long it’s been since it happened. Nearly two since I got back on track. I still remember every single thing that happened. But I have reconciled myself with the events of that day. Putting it all behind me sounds easier than it actually is. Healing, it is a gradual process. Because there were so many things that needed healing. From my physical self to my inner self. My relationships with those around me. But I know I am going to get through this.
Helping others in situations like what I was in; it helps, a lot. It gives me a reason to wake up tomorrow. Wake up because I now sleep peacefully. There are still nights when I cry till morning. Sometimes crying for the people I help.
There are so many questions people ask. Most whose answers I know. Some whose answers only you know. But none of which I am willing to answer. At least not yet.
Seeing you today, I wondered if you know what you did to me. If you knew how many things you broke that cannot be pieced back together. I wanted to tell you I forgave you. I did not think I ever could but I did. I forgave you, but I still remember. Maybe someday I will forget. Maybe. Or maybe it’s better if I remember.