Winters are ruthless. They get even worse when you’re hurt. The mirror showed her blood oozing out of her upper lip. She sat on the chair with a depressing slouch and ran her finger over the blood, wiping it off in one go. She rubbed the blood on her thumb, spreading it on her index finger. It hurt. A sharp pain surged through her arms. Cleaning her wounds wasn’t a problem. Her attitude towards them was. Nothing seemed to hold her back from what she did. The doorbell rang. It was time.
She has seen men, she saw monsters. Monsters were sometimes better than men, they would only haunt her in dreams. Men were vile. Their morals are replaceable. The door slammed open and there stood two men. “Why the fuck won’t you answer the door, bitch? Time to work.” One of them howled and left another back in the room, closing the door on his way out. “Let’s get started” said the man in the room, taking his coat off. “Let the wounds be, I enjoy a woman with scars. Makes her look strong yet vulnerable.” His hoarse voice didn’t seem to startle her. She brushed all her sadness off and walked to the bed post. “Tell me how you got here. I enjoy a good talk while I’m at it.” He chortled. For a moment, hesitation reigned but it didn’t matter anymore. Orders have to be obeyed, failing which would result in more scars and starvation which would disfigure her which again leads to loss of work and starvation. She could take all the pain, but not that. But still, “Does that really matter? Just do your thing and leave me alone” She retorted. He wasn’t the one to take no for an answer. “You know what’ll happen if you don’t do what I say, don’t you?”
“I was returning home from school.”
“Now, we’re getting started.”
They both got naked as she talked while working. “There was this guy I met regularly at the grocery store. We met frequently and I learned that he drove an autorickshaw for a living. I was naive, he was kind. My parents despised me because I was the ‘fourth girl’ to them and not being a boy isn’t something to be happy in my family.”
“Ouch!” She shrieked as he bit her on her shoulder. She bled. “Carry on” he muttered. Her eyes bled tears while she carried on.
“I got all I attention and love I missed from my family and in less than a few months, we eloped. Everyday was a nightmare since then. He tortured me to bring dowry from my family that banished me now that I’ve sinned. Failing which he threatened to sell me off to a brothel.” His nails cut through her flesh but she continued, “I failed and he succeeded.”
“After multiple threats, I found myself drugged one night and I woke up the next day in a brothel far away from home.”
“Why didn’t you escape?”
“I was pregnant. I wanted the child.”
“Didn’t your husband come back? Why don’t you fight for your life? Don’t you want revenge? Couldn’t you call the police?”
“We’re done, mister. Your time’s up.” She got out of the bed and continued what she was doing before while the guy went out, disappointed.”
“They ask like they care.”