Updated: Jul 16
(Trigger Warning: Physical Abuse)
"You could have saved me. But you chose to stay silent. Now I am trapped too... Just like you were. If not equally but to some extent, you too are responsible for my condition." Adhya exclaimed with tears in her eyes but confidence in her tone.
Shivers ran down my spine. It took me a hot minute to process this. I wanted to deny but somewhere I knew she wasn't wrong. It took me months of therapy to forget what came back around in a jiffy. I, who was once a victim, am a culprit now.
My heart trembled. I had glued my broken heart piece by piece which shattered once again. Reason? This girl, Adhya, I could see my one-year-old self in her. I gathered myself together, and asked her,
"What do you want from me?" Selfish? I know! But this made sense to me as I didn't want to get in any more trouble.
"What do I want? I want you to help me. Please, I need to get out of this shit, out of his toxicity. I don't know-how. But I know you do!" she said, fierce, enraged but helpless.
You know even I would have wanted someone to warn me before I made a fool of myself, but there was absolutely no one. She was a junior of mine, I used to see her often hanging out with him. I could have been that person for her but I wasn't. I was morally obliged to help her. And hence I caved.
"Okay tell me, is he blackmailing you?, If he has something against you just tell me right now!" I exclaimed knowing he was capable of anything and everything.
"Yes!" she hung her head in a no-hope state.
Okay so my plan A of confronting that monster is ruled out! I screamed In my head but still consoled her, "That's ok we will work with what we have against him." Her eyes sparkled as if she finally saw the dawn.
Plan B was our plan of action. Adhya, me and my friends headed to our dean's office. We had a word with him. He believed us as It was not the first time I was standing in front of him against the same person. Exactly a year later I was in the same spot holding someone's hand just like that day but this time my hand was firm, holding the trembling one and not the other way round. That day our dean had just given him a warning as his father had begged the dean to think about the future of his so-called dotting lad.
But this time I was anchored, I was not in the mood of letting him go just because of the petty reputation of our college and the drowning career of that uncultured demon. Anyway, she had enough proofs including their texts, CCTV recordings of when he had abused her in a non-busy lobby of our college and the most telling proof, her bruises. These were just enough to lodge an FIR against him backed with solid pieces of evidence, but her bruises were not just shreds of evidence rather they were the part of a narrative which was an escalated level of this tale. A tale that started with me had to end now, With her!
Even though I had a history with him, things were never this bad. With me was it
Physically and psychologically harming? Yes.
But never to this extent. I used to think I had seen the worst of the worse, but with her, she didn't even realize that she was in the middle of the worse. That's how things look like in a toxic relationship. I had my friends who even though I had cut ties with because of him, kept telling me how I was letting him do wrong to me, but she, She had no one.
I remember this incident when I was still looking at the world through his glossy goggles. Around this time once I was weeping over the fact that he wasn't talking to me because of some shit that I had done. My roommate noticed this and asked me what had happened and As I finished my rant she questioned, " Does he always treat you like this?" and I replied, "like what?". That's how deep I had sunk in his trap that I Couldn't even tell what wrong he had been doing to me. She had sunk in this trap too, but deeper. Couldn't tell what's wrong until once he forced himself on her. Yes! It took her this ridiculousness of his to realize what she had been bearing all this while.
Even after having enough proof she couldn't stand for herself. Why? Because he had broken her to the core. She needed support and that's when she turned towards me. But does this mean that she is weak? No. She is most definitely a lot stronger than me… She had the guts to call me out on the wrong that I had done by letting that demon go with a warning and staying silent. But she was strong enough to counter my mistakes and correct them. Strong enough to stand against him who had tormented her. And finally strong enough to file an FIR against OUR culprit.
So today as I pen this down I want you to know that its okay to seek help, its okay to not care about reputation, It is okay to call people out on their wrongdoings, and it's most definitely okay to let people hear your story and learn from them. And Let me quote one of the strongest and quirkiest protagonists Phoebe Buffay,
"who is the boss of you?"
So wear the glossy goggles but remember that there is a world beyond them!
/work of fiction