The sunrays coming through the window pierced Simi’s eyes and she squinted to look at the wall clock. It was almost afternoon and she was at her sister’s house. A shiver ran down her spine as she felt raw scars on her inner thigh. Something felt odd as she tried to recollect the events of the last night. She was at the dance floor……..

The party was in full swing. Simi was at the centre of the dance floor with her friends, her body gyrating to the rhythm of the beat with a perfect precision. The night was young and her boyfriend Amit was in no mood to let her go. With a few drinks too much, they continued their passionate tryst with the music. After the DJ officially announced the wrap-up, Amit walked her towards the parking. They were kissing when……

She found it difficult to remember all the details but had a strong urge to find out nonetheless. Did Amit…..?, she was baffled just when Simi’s sister walked in and handed her a lemony concoction.

“Here, have this. How many times have I told you to dress properly? This is the last time I am shielding you from dad, okay. Thanks to Sunil, for driving you here safe. He told me everything. This boy Amit, is no good. You should stay away from him. Think about your family’s honour, for God’s sake!”

“Wait, What, No? I thought it was Amit who drove me…”, she stammered but her sister had already left the room.

Simi called Amit’s from her phone.

He told her that she was on the verge of passing out and he was also not in a condition to drive so he had called her sister. She had said her husband will pick her up. Amit also told Simi that her brother-in-law seemed a little angry when he saw them being close and took her and left immediately.

She hung up the phone and gasped as she contemplated the truth.

A month later…

“Simi, you are running away from reality.

“Amit, I don’t know what to do. My parents don’t even know I was at the party. They will be devastated.”

“The truth has to come out sooner or later.”

“But what if they don’t believe me and blame me instead? I don’t even have any proof. I was out in the night with you and moreover, my sister thinks…”

“She doesn’t know the truth yet. Don’t you think she deserves to know?”

“I don’t think she deserves to spend her life with that devil but it will break her heart and my parents’ too to see her marriage fall apart. But how can I go on keeping this secret and pretending as if nothing happened?”

“Sometimes there is no happy choice, Simi, only one less grievous than the other. You just need to make the right one.”

Simi nodded in agreement. A rapist has to be punished no matter who it is.

*****

Author’s note: All rape cases don’t fall under the stereotype of a perpetrator forcing himself physically on the victim. Also, a majority of the rape cases fall in the category of acquaintance rape where the victim is vulnerable due to consumption of alcohol/drugs. The majority of sexual assault victims don’t acknowledge that they were raped right away, if ever. The fear of stigma is part of it – a society that blames them for landing voluntarily in such situations.

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The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00-6 entry.
Check out event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/five00-6/

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Photo by David Calderon