BATTERED WIFE

I see him everyday-
At the bus stop
At the coffee shop 
At the market 
At the bank 
Wherever I go 
I see him. 
I close my eyes and grind my teeth 
Sometimes, I can feel my knees go weak
That's when I abruptly take a seat 
Compose myself so that I don't scream.
He looks at me often 
With an air of nonchalance 
As if nothing ever happened
As if it is all a part of my imagination.
His ignorance makes me question 
My own conscience 
My memories 
Was it indeed a lie? 
My teachers always said “She is an imaginative child”
But how could this be a lie? 
Trust me, I wish. Only if.
He stands before me in the line 
Waiting to deposit cash
His saliva coated fingers are coarse-
Softly grazing the tip of the notes 
He taps his foot relentlessly 
Restless and impatient 
Barely glancing over his back 
I shudder as I feel a wave of shock 
Overwhelmed by guilt and shame 
Am I really at fault? For what?
For being a temptress? 
For wearing a dress that showed my knees? 
For painting my nails a seductive red? 
For trusting him? 
For promising to be only his? 
For refusing to budge on being touched?
The scene is very vivid. 
I wish it was a blur 
I see him laughing with his friends 
Cracking lewd jokes, drinking beer
While I cover my arms and hide my face
Away from people I try to steer. 
He took the mirth away from me 
He took away my life 
I see my rapist roaming free 
The court wants me to be his wife.

By Debadrita Sur