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10,9,8.....3,2,1 ready!! I'm coming out, are you guys ready. I'm out... it was dark like a wild forest with noises I had never heard before. I was walking through the corridor taking tiny steps, very very cautious so that nobody could sense me. Like snakes make their way through the forest, I made my way through the corridor. Just then I could hear whispers, which were not new to me, which made me a little comfortable and there I found two of my friends, wooopiie!!! Quiet, quiet .. shhhhhh.. 10 more to go...
I opened my eyes and for around fifteen seconds was completely blind. My hands ran through the itched tiles on the wall and I could fairly make out the colours’; dark green and black- a complete wild forest ambience. Just at the end of the corridor and behind the wall, I caught sight of my friend, Ryan."Caught you”, I said and he started screaming on top of his voice, when I indicated him to be quiet.
I was the youngest in the group, just 7 years old, with a cute smile and unbelievable innocence in my eyes. With the ones around me, it looked that I had just come out of my cradle, pampered, loved, looked after, spoilt to core; I was their angel. I was moving forward, glued to the wall of the house and was still on the hunt when suddenly I felt someone breathing really hard by my side, who was it? I was not able to figure out who was it and was on the verge of shouting, "caught you."
Pacifying myself, I said softly,“ You are out!”
“Yeah, I am” Rashid whispered.
Rashid, he was 15 years old and the eldest in our gang. He used to keep playing with my hair all the time. Somehow, I never liked that, but then he was a friend and a sweet guy. I was already getting irritated of the idea that he’ll start bullying me. When suddenly he held me by my waist and pushed himself towards me. I was facing him with frightened eyes, heavy heart and trembling fingers. His hands were moving on my back and I was damn pissed off and pushed him away. He caught me again, now with much force pinched my ass, kissed my cheeks and whispered in my ears...
“Good, you found me”.
A kind of rage travelled through my body. I didn’t know what to do, how to react but I knew that I was feeling uncomfortable and rot. His hand was finding its way between my legs, then I went mad and shrieked, like a snake had bitten me. Everybody was calling out my name “ Kaya, Kaya, where are you?”
Rashid was afraid, sweating, nervous, just pushed me off, before everyone arrived. I was so damn nervous and frightened, that I could barely speak.
“Oh! Mama must be looking for me, and anyway the game is over now that everyone is out. I’ll rush”. Ryan was confused but still nodded his head.
I was back at home feeling miserable, dirty, startled. My mom was in some kind of rampage, she was shouting, crying and wanting to be heard. I went to my room to avoid direct confrontation with any of my family member. We were a joint family; it’s fun when there are kids of your age at home. You share, you learn, you take care of each other, but I was the eldest daughter. So irrespective of whatever happens everyone expected a matured behaviour from me, and that’s what I did and that’s how I programmed myself- matured, dedicated, no confusion always alert and of course dealing with my problems alone.
“How do I tackle this?” I was feeling just too miserable. Firstly because of what had happened with me and secondly because my mom wasn’t available to deal with my issues, she had her own long list of problems to resolve. I decided to keep everything to myself, deciding was tough and implementing it will take in so much, I had no clue.
I stopped playing with my friends. Why? Not that I knew what was happening, but just that I felt something was not right. For a kid, of this age its tough to accommodate, without her being with her friends.
The night started with clips of that horrifying incident, followed by the nightmares, which got seasoned by my imaginations and made my night more cold and miserable.
I had my school in the morning, so without good sleep, without active mind and with just guilt and low self-esteem, I headed for school.
I was a mediocre student and this incident had taken away the little confidence I had, I felt completely lost and ruined. Days passed by, months went by, a year was to end and with every single day passing by, I became more stubborn and more convinced of the idea of not interacting with male counterparts at all.
After a year passed by, I witnessed dramatic changes in me. I became more matured, I never liked the company of my own classmates not because they were not interesting, just that I felt, they did not match my maturity level. Topics of conversation that used to interest them were never of my interest.
Warning for Parents:
Remember, to pay attention to your child’s problems, behavioural changes, their fears and their doubts as they want to place huge trust on you.
Remember, to keep a check on what the kids are playing and how comfortable is your child with other kids.
Remember, bad instances in childhood can leave a huge impact on their personality.
Remember, to make your child feel special and boost up his/her confidence every now and then.
Remember, you are the best person to educate your child about abuse, good touch-bad touch and also the best person to listen and help them out.
*This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to any person/character is accidental.