A cold December night.
Her eyes were only getting accustomed to the dark as her body let the stillness of their sweet home sink in.
Ruth climbed the stairs to the attic, almost mechanically. When she reached the door-less entrance, her eyes did not waver once. She switched on the lights and walked straight towards the cupboard.
A cardboard box full of old newspaper cuttings.
She never understood why she wanted to keep them at all, let alone the time span. Ten years, is a long, long time.
She took out the cuttings, which were arranged chronologically, and read only the headings. The story was etched on her mind and body forever.
She wanted to go inside those cuttings, hold her sixteen year old self and tell her that it was not her mistake that she was raped. She wanted to plaster the mouths that were hungry for a little girl’s agony put into words.
People had politicised the matter because the offender was a politician’s son. Neighbours had sympathised with disgust lurking in their eyes and had talked behind their closed doors that her “life is destroyed and her family is left with no honour and dignity”.
She could not understand what is to be given the most and the immediate attention – her collapsing honour or her aching body?
Years later, she learnt to ‘live with it’. She seldom opened up to people about it and when she did, they wanted to know how her parents and people around treated her ever since the incident, if she was afraid of men or hoped to marry a good man, and if she’d tell him in case it’s the latter. Unless four years ago, when she met Reyva.
The only thing Reyva had ever asked her was if her body still hurt.
Ruth told her that some days, it did; that sometimes, she’d wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, not knowing which part of her body hurt the most. Reyva had held her and told her that it will stop hurting one day and she will be there to hold her till and after it does.
That was the turning point in her life. Soon after, they unlocked chambers inside and peeled off layers covering each other, until they discovered they were one, underneath. For the first time in her life, Ruth felt fearless.
They spent nights in each other’s arms. Reyva’s touch felt soft even against her faded wounds and she was no more scared and ashamed of her own orgasms, the way she was since the day it was forced from her. She had told her that there was nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that she had felt it when she was raped; that our bodies have a language of their own which sometimes our minds fail to understand.
Ruth smiled at the thought of her beautiful face. She went down to the bedroom, switched on the lights and climbed onto the bed. Putting on some soft music on her phone, she closed her eyes and waited patiently, for the warmth of her beloved woman to fill the other side of the bed.
You can also find me on Instagram.
Much love ❤