I don’t remember what date it was but it was too chilly outside. The moment I exhaled the Carbon Dioxide from my mouth, I could see forming the white smoke with no odor of smoke. Wearing too many layers of clothes I took the risk to go to him. It was not if I wanted to or not. He needed me and I needed to be there.
Minutes earlier when I was in my warm quilt, my phone blinked and all my attention was taken to it. I was laughing heartily at one of the jokes that Kapil had just made on the Comedy Nights show and continuing that laugh of mine, I picked up the call. I could not hear him speak, probable the TV volume was too high. I muted the TV, flipped the quilt and moved to the balcony with the phone sticking on my right ear.
“Disha, listen to me carefully! I need you to be with me right now.”
His voice scared me and I had to not lose my mind, so I asked, “What is it Daksh? Tell me what happened baby?”
“Just don’t ask anything. I have lost all but I believe I have you. Can you show up at my place at this time?”
I assured him, “Yes I can and I am.”
Mom and dad were in their room so I didn’t bother them. Plus if I told them they would never let me so I got out of my room’s window and escaped from the backyard.
Daksh lives two lanes across my home. Considering his parents would also mind me coming at such off hours, he had opened the gate already. I carefully positioned my body between the iron bars of gate sure enough not to make any noise. I got my shoes off and held them in one hand. The floor was frozen and so did my feet. I raised my heels and managed my weight on my toes and hurriedly crossed the porch, then the lobby, then the mandir and then there was his room.
The room was dark and I could see the black shadows because of the dim moonlight coming in from the window. Figuring out the shapes of the shadows, I concentrated with my eyes to find a humanly shadow. Then I noticed a curled up human in knees with messy hair with no movement. Placing my shoes aside and taking my coat off, I almost ran towards him. He sat in the left corner. I held his elbows and he looked at me although we could not actually look. A sudden sadness and fear radiated from his body. He was shattered and I was scared and confused. He kept looking at me and now there were drops falling on my hands that held him from elbows. I began wiping his cheeks with my hands and suddenly I was crying too without knowing what the reason was. I did not have the courage to say anything because I had never seen him this way.
It was he who had always been the responsible one, the one who pacified me in the tough times. It was always me who was crying and he who made things better. But today it was different and so I did not know what to do.
He finally spoke, “You know what has happened to me?”
“I don’t know Daksh but I won’t force you to tell me until you are in the position to do so. I am here with you. You don’t have to face it alone baby.” I brought him closer to me and pulled his head in my lap, “see here you will feel good. No matter what is bothering you it is going to be better.”
“It is never going to be better Disha, never” He kept murmuring these worlds and then slept.
I took out my mobile and flashed torch on him to see if he was asleep. Just when the light fell on his face, I saw bruises on his eyes. I carefully placed my hand under his cheek and shifted it to the other side and found horrible scratches that had dried blood. I almost panicked to see such marks and the I flashed the light on his arms and his feet. Every portion of his skin had all kinds of marks; horrible marks. Some of them still bled. I reached the bed side with my one arm and pulled the pillow and placed it under his head. Using the mobile torch light, I searched for first aid kit but all my efforts in vain. Then I got the astringent in the bathroom. Picking it up I closed my eyes realizing how much pain I was going to give to him with this. Then I got back to him. Now a clean cloth was needed but I did not know what to use, so I just tore a small piece from the bed-sheet.
Holding that cloth damped with astringent in my hand, I did not have the courage to apply it on him. Sadly I had to so I started with his feet. As soon as I placed the cloth on the left foot scratch, he shook his legs a bit but he was still asleep. I continued doing it patiently and carefully so that I didn’t wake him up. But I did. There was a wound that had a deep cut and it hurt him so badly that he almost screamed but I put a hand in his mouth and forced him to bite it. The pain he was going through was way too much than the red biting on my hand that started bleeding.
“Daksh, are you okay now? Did someone beat you?” I said while hugging him.
“No.” He said like he was going to say more but did not.
He cried again. I kissed him on his forehead holding his face with my hands not touching his scratches. He closed his eyes and finally let out,
“They raped me.”
Rape a boy? How? Does this mean the girls raped him or the boys? I had never heard this and my ears seemed to listen to something that is not possible at all. Realizing the graveness of the situation, it was true. It had happened and not to just any random person but to my love. The one who has always protected me from the eyes of the evil. The reality hit so hard that it didn’t seem to be real but a nightmare.
I could not shut my eyes that were wide opened and my mouth could only make gasping sounds. I tightened my embrace and assured him that he had me with him; even in this. In fact more than anything else or anybody else, he had me. I whispered in his ears with the tears flowing all over my face, “ I am with you Daksh. Don’t worry.”
He hugged more tightly and spoke, “I know you are.’’
“Shh! Just sleep baby come.” While convincing him to stop speaking I was actually collecting myself together because I could not break at that time.
He slept in my lap and when the morning light came up I slid the curtains to let him see the light. He was frightened and turned a pillow on his face. “I don’t like the mornings anymore. I want the nights with you. No going out, not meeting anyone and just staying here with you.” He got the pillow away from his face, “come here you should only be here with me.”
Today, we have a 4 years old boy. Daksh is more normal than any normal ones in the world. I am expecting my second baby and he wants a girl this time. He manages the business and my tantrums very well.
All of this would just end up the other way around; he in the mental asylum and me in some other man’s bedroom. I could not let it happen. I sacrificed my every single day to bring him back to his normal self. From building his trust in the people again to assuring that not all are the demons like the ones who did so. I got the culprits behind the bar. Never thought I would do such things, because people make you think that these are the roles of a man only.
Now I know that love can make you do anything. You don’t necessarily need to be a boy or girl. Girls who consider that being a boy gives the ease of convincing the family, you need to reconsider it because it is equally tough for them as it is for you. The only difference is our mind set. Once you know you have to stand up for someone, it is never difficult.
“ When you fall in love, stand up for your lover.”