“You look so pretty. I can’t believe my eyes.” He took a long breath and well, continued. “These years probably hit you like a magic wand.”
She was there in a pretty peach colored maxi dress, which covered almost all skin of hers. Though her plan was to get dressed in a bright colored sundress, which would have complimented her fair complexion, in a more brilliant way. Red pout, and little bit of rose on cheeks was visible.
“Oh! That’s kind of exaggeration.”
“I wish it was. You have really grown more beautiful after marriage. Where is your hunky husband? I saw your pictures on Instagram and Facebook.”
“He had some urgent business work. So he dropped me here and rushed to his office.” She took a pause. “I am glad you could make it here. I was almost cent percent sure that you won’t come.”
This made him think of what he had seen earlier in the morning.
“I saw her getting out of Uber. Nowhere was there the sign of her husband. Then why did she lie?” He kept his thoughts to himself.
“Well, how could have I missed to see the milestone of your success. Also, it wasn’t that I made any extra efforts to do so. I was in India for some time, so made it here,” he replied.
He had seen her the last time when they were in college, which was probably three years back, when they used to be best of the friends. Knowing her so well, it wasn’t the milestone of hers which attracted him to come here, but to know what made her start this NGO. She had never been much interested in social activities.
Then arrived other members of the NGO. The NGO she had recently started. She got married two years back, and established this NGO just after an year of marriage. Today was the first anniversary of NGO, and so was the reason to celebrate.
Alex, Aarti, Raj, and many other members sat around the tables. Soon the murmurs filled the area and in no time the ambiance changed from a lonesome place with two people to a club full of pleasant chatter boxes. Many members, including Raj shared their views on how the NGO has succeeded in its motive, and how it has been benefitting those in need. Though the occasion wasn’t at very large scale, but it seemed more than the expected number of people succeeded in becoming the part of the celebration.
When the crowd asked her, the founder of NGO, to speak a few words, she hesitatingly went to the podium kept on the small artificial platform.
“This journey could have never even started without your support. Hadn’t you volunteered, my dream might have been dead by now. But you made this journey a successful one. Thanks for being here.”
Thunder of claps, and few words of praise from here and there. She came back to her place.
Everybody had a nice time and as the sun started to feel drowsy, they also started heading back to their places.
She called her husband asking him to pick her up.
“He is already in the parking lot. I must leave. Glad to meet you after long time,” she said.
I know he isn’t. He deduced.
They got up to bid goodbye. He thought of asking her about Uber incident, but dropped the idea. He could see the weariness in her perfectly angled smile, but felt too much of an outsider poking his nose in others’ matters.
They were best friends in college. Time certainly had worn out that bond.
“This is my card. I am just a call away if you ever need an ear.” He handed over his card in her hand, which seemed exhausted too. “You know what. There are many people who take stand for others, but when it comes to them, they just cannot do it. Maybe because they are afraid to take the first step. Or maybe something else. I am glad I have friends who neither suffer nor let others go through some ordeal.”
By the evening, concealer couldn’t hold back the dark circles around her eyes and those bruises around that slender cheekbone and neck. Her eyes imparted what she couldn’t through her words – I chose this. I have to deal with this.
She reached back to her home house in Uber. Once in her room, she gazed at herself in mirror.
She washed her face, removed the layers of foundation and concealer properly, and changed into that sundress which she had wanted to wear today. Mirror showed her, yet again, what she could have exposed today. Those violet marks in her upper back, which were visible from the halter style of the dress; the discoloration of the parts of her shoulder area which were wide exposed in that sundress. Those bruises on the side of the neck and cheekbone could only be masked completely if she chose to wear hijab, which she obviously couldn’t.
“How many times has he hit you? Kicked you? Punched you?”, asked the girl in the mirror.
“I chose to be with him over any other thing. I chose my own fate and now this is it.”
“You chose him over everything to become his punch-bag?”
“I didn’t see it coming then. But now as I have, I am using it for a better purpose, my NGO. An organization against ‘Domestic Violence’. I cannot help myself, but can definitely pull other women out of this doom.”
“I wonder how the one in mire can pull others out of it. For pulling out, the person should himself be out first.”
Maybe that girl in the mirror is right.
“Where are you bitch?”, her drunkard husband yelled as he entered the house. A bottle in one hand, and the belt in other. A too drunkard man for a too beautiful woman set his foot into the room. She smiled back to the girl in the mirror, and caressed the wounds over her body and the dents on her soul.
Maybe this is the time. She thought to herself.
She did not even feel the pain of the belt her husband smashed her with, because her hand had held the end of the belt in the half-way. For the first time she did for herself what she had been doing for others since last one year.
P.S. – Sometimes mere few words from someone can help you in getting out of an ordeal you were never supposed to undergo through at the first place. Those words are nothing but a spark needed to ignite the fire of courage within you. We all are courageous, hold power to fight back against wrong, but somehow begin to accept it as our fate. No. It never was our fate, nor will ever be.
Never, ever get comfortable in your pain.
It always is easy to stand for others, but toughest when it comes to ourselves. Nobody ever said that The Best comes to you easily.
Don’t get laden with the abuse you never deserved.
Stand Up. Speak Up. Fight Back.
‘Sometimes giving someone a second chance is like giving him an extra bullet for his gun because he missed you the first time.‘
You really want to gift that bullet?
No credits for the image and quote used.
Copyright © 2016 by Idle Muser. All rights reserved.