I have known him since I was a little kid. He was a husky old man with large arms who would lift me up and make me sit on his huge lap. His moustache smelled of coffee and cigars. The fingernails somewhat appeared dark and rusty. He would come visit my family quite often. He would tell me stories about his life in army, his achievements, and his capabilities and so on. He would often praise my intellect and speak to my mother how bright I am and would definitely shine in my future. It was my birthday. He was in town. So my family and I went to celebrate my birthday to his place. His wife made me cake and delicious snacks. I was elated that day, for that day was all about me. I wore a fresh crimson-red sweater. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and noticed that I have developed breasts. It was a cold month. I put on my blue woollen cap and pranced my way to a day that was designed for me.
I don’t remember why but I went upstairs to fetch a candle or maybe a matchstick. I found him inside his room. His bedroom was enormous, with a large bed and a mirror reflecting the empty things which had no real purpose in his life, except himself. He asked me to come and sit with him while my parents and his wife were busy talking about the mundane weather and humdrum politics. He asked me ‘Do you want to learn yoga?’ Like every little cat, I was a very curious kid, I said yes. We stood in front of the mirror and started warming up by stretching our arms and legs.
The incidents that happened next were quite unprecedented. Very casually he stood behind me and grabbed my breasts. I was taken aback for a while.
He said ‘don’t move, its part of the yoga practice’.
I saw my reflection in the mirror. I looked at the hands which were pressing against my body so hard that my eyes trembled. He was staring right back into my eyes and asked me ‘how does it feel?’ while he squeezed me very badly. It hurt. I felt numb out of the sheer embarrassment. For a few seconds I wasn’t able to comprehend the situation. He kept pressing me. I tried to break free, but he clutched his fingers tightly and wouldn’t let go. He kept narrating something I don’t exactly recall. I kept staring at my reflection. I began loathing her. Then he walked a few inches, still having a cruel grasp of my hands.
‘What a good girl’ he said.
Gradually he lied down in his bed, and instructed towards the bulge between his legs which had started to grow. A deep lump formed in my throat. I felt him in my palms as he slowly motioned my fingers according to his whim. I wanted to scream so loud. I wanted to break free. His angry eyes made my fears develop into restraint. My eyes became blurry and I dropped a tear.
His eyes were closed. The moment I heard him moaning, that was it. I knew it was wrong. I don’t remember what made me take so long to get out of there, but I am glad I did. That is all I can recall.
I ran down the stairs and hurried towards the bathroom to wipe my teary eyed face when my mom noticed me. She asked me what I was doing and if anything was wrong. I said, No. She insisted. I forced a smile and hugged her. Her flowery perfume soothed me. I knew I couldn’t tell it to my mother. Ever.
‘It was my entire fault. I should not have had gone upstairs. I should not have worn that tight red sweater. I should not have looked into his eyes when he was speaking to me. He is an elderly person. Of course it was my fault. Your body invited him.’ are the things I kept telling myself till I read similar stories online. I stopped being ashamed of myself. http://https://thafreebird.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/go-and-see.jpg
I cut the cake. I blew the candles and they all sang for me. The celebration, the cake, the cheering, the gifts didn’t mean much anything to me anymore. I went to the bathroom and looked into the mirror. I saw a strange face with a red sweater on. My body felt so tight that I could not feel my skin anymore.
‘It was entirely your fault’, the reflection said.
I burnt that red sweater the next day.