It was the darkest night of her life. Her cry was as loud as thunder but it fell on deaf ears which failed to perceive them. Her naked body laid on the footpath smeared with blood, begging for mercy. Surrounded by a group of deaf people who seemed to have gathered to quench their thirst for amusement she was crying for help. They stood still like a bunch of lifeless and soulless creatures looking at her in awe, no one bothered to help. Her pain was unimaginable as if she was thrown in a lawn of thorns which pierced through every inch of her body. The crowd was thinning gradually. People suddenly realized that it was not a place of their interest, they realized that they have to be elsewhere, they realized that it was none of their business because she was not among any of their sisters or wives or relatives. It was not their family’s pond of blood which gathered on the footpath. She was introduced to a new face of mankind which she never believed to exist. In no time the spot was deserted. Her mind flashed back to her past when she was a teenager. When the only thing that hurt was moms scolding and skinned knees. A few drop of tears and a pills of medication would have sufficed for healing the wounds.
“Mom, am I beautiful?” She asked with a flavor of her childhood innocence.
“Most beautiful in the entire world my child. Just like a doll”
“I would get married one day just like you did, won’t I mom?”
“Of course dear and your hubby would be the most handsome man in the town”
“What if something bad happened? What if I become ugly?”
“Beauty is not in the face sweetheart, it’s in your soul. No matter how the life forges you, how it disfigures you, your soul will be the same – beautiful like a flower”
She was beautiful indeed. Her face was so illumined as if the moon had cast its glint upon her. Her curly hairs were often clutched neatly behind her head while some straps of her hairs hung in front of her face making her even more adorable. She had the most innocent smile which would make any person fall in love for her at the first sight. Her dream was to mount the peak of success. She wanted to earn a fortune through her hard work and spend all of it for her family – her father and mother. She opted for late night shifts. But, her decision proved to be the most horrific which was about to haunt her entire life. On her way back at nearly midnight she was pulled into a minivan while she was reaching for an auto rickshaw. The very moment they pulled her they started tearing her clothes apart. She tried to resist and every time she did she suffered a heavy blow from them. But yet she continued to retaliate and the blows continued which eventually left her unconscious. The next thing she know was being thrown on a street.
She was assaulted, raped and thrown out of a running vehicle. Her flesh was scrapped and her bones were broken. Yet she managed to crawl her way to a spot under the beam of the lamp post in a hope that somebody might see her and help her. People saw her but they just lacked the mettle to take an initiative. They just walked through her looking from the corner of their eyes pretending as if they didn’t notice. A vehicle stopped and its inmates popped their head out to take a glimpse. She raised her hand as she lost too much blood to scream anymore. Her heart blossomed with a hope that she was being rescued. They hopped back in; she heard the engine roar and watched it disappearing into the darkness. Hope lost again.
She cursed her pitiful condition, her helplessness. She fought within herself. She feared from closing her eyes as every time she does so she saw those faces. Faces of the animals in a human disguise. They took everything from her – her integrity, her honor, her self-respect. They took everything except one – her will to live. She battled within herself. Every time her consciousness advised her to let go she denied it. She wanted to live. Though her life won’t be the same ever after but she wanted to give it a chance. Instead of giving up she chose a different path, a difficult path, to fight till her last gasp.
“Dad still loves you even when you got old. Your skin has got wrinkles. It isn’t what it used to be when he fell for you. He finds your soul beautiful, isn’t it?”
Her mother laughed and pulled her towards herself. She sat her on her lap “Yes sweetie. He loves your mom dearly. His love makes him blind to my wrinkles or my ageing.”
“I want to marry such a man mumma. Just like Dad”, she spoke in her sugar voice.
Even if she survives death she has to go through the roughest time of her life to survive the society. She would become a subject of the kitty parties, her family would be cut off from their relatives and if not they would look down at them. Her friends would taboo her. The most disgusting thing that could ever happen would be that she herself might be held responsible for the mishap. The fickle society which boasts of ethics and morals would show their true colors of hypocrisy. They would change their faces at a flip of a coin. If she lives she has to pay a huge price dealing with the people but she was ready to pay the price as she was rich with her will, courage and determination.
“But mommy, what if he turns out to be a bad person? What if he breaks my heart?” her curiosity was never ending.
“Listen sweetie pie, in future, life is about to give you thousands and thousands of gifts. But not all of them are going to bring happiness and joy. Some of them might be bad some worse. But don’t ever allow them to deplete your hope. Don’t ever give up on life because you never know what you’re going to get next. There might be a time when you fall off the ladder but if you preserve your will and determination, you’ll climb back up in no time”
It has been hours since she was left for dead but yet nobody cared to put a single cloth on her body let alone helping her. Her body was shivering, weakening and yearning for mercy. She was beginning to see apparitions owing to the mayhem in her head. Her head was feeling so heavy as if it was about to explode. She tried to stand up only to realize that her ankles were fractured as well. She laid still.
“Help me… Help me”, she whispered within herself.
A bike halted at a few meters from her and she could see the driver staring at her. Maybe he was deciding whether to help her or not or maybe he was another soul less creature who just wanted to peek and leave. She didn’t cry for help. She simply looked at him. She heard the engine start as it was heading towards her. He took a closer look at her. He could see her puffed eyes half closed. Her breath was amplified. Her body was smeared with blood in such a way that it was difficult to search for a wound. He saw from above his shoulder that people had gathered at a distance and they were looking at them while he placed his jacket on her body. He felt something at his feet. She clutched his trouser and mustered every ounce of her strength to speak
“Please… Help me. I am as human as you are. Help me… I want to live”
“Of course. I am here for the same reason”, he said while he waved his hand to stop an auto rickshaw. He pulled her up in his arms and slid her carefully in the rickshaw seat. He sat beside her. He held her firmly and ensured her that everything’s going to be alright. He kept on talking in order to avoid her from sleeping. On the other side she was fighting within herself to be alive. She was just so reluctant to give up. She felt a strong urge to close her eyes and let all the pain and miseries to vanish but she denied it. She kept her hopes up. She was going to survive. Humanity is still alive no matter how miniature its population is. The stranger kept on talking asking about her life, her parents, her siblings and everything that he could think of. Even though she failed to answer he kept on talking. It appeared as if god has taken his test before sending his apostle for her rescue.
Back during her childhood whenever she had a nightmare her mother used to tell stories of fairies and angels. In her stories angels and fairies often rescued people from their dilemma.
“Mumma, is there anything such as an angel in heaven for real?”
“Of course there is sweetie and some of them have descended to earth to pull us up from our miseries and failures when the whole world had turned up against us. All you have to do is to preserve your will and never give up”
She gathered her strength and pulled her head up to look at the angel who was sent for her rescue.