It took us a lifetime to build our beautiful world. Respect and trust, apart from love, were the feeling that prevailed in that world. At least, that is what I thought. I never realized when my “I” became a “we”, but I was happy in that. There was nothing more I could have asked for. I was content.
It all started when Dev left India for a short business trip. I was so much in love that the distance only made my heart grow fonder. His brother,Megh, who was the first person I met from Dev’s family, would be the typical caring elder brother to me too and would call me regularly to make sure that everything was in place in my lover’s absence.
One fine day, Megh pinged me on a chat messenger. He had already put the chat off the records. I really did not care about it at that time. But then, he starts using inappropriate language and asks me to sleep with him. He wrote everything to convince me how this would be a no-strings attached thing. I was taken aback. I did not know how to react. I took the screen shots of the chat. I logged out and called Dev. He was not available. I received a call from his brother, pursuing me again. He told me how he has always dreamed of me to be the one to share his sexual desires. And he also threatened me to not to ever mention this to his brother. He knew Dev was really close to him and would believe in any story he tells.
He was right. Should I tell Dev? Will it not effect the relationship they shared? These were the questions that cropped up. I forgot to think about myself, somewhere. They were the ideal brothers I ever came across in my life. I decided to wait for Dev to come back. After loads of hesitation, I told Dev what happened in his absence. He was angry. He stopped talking to his brother, but never confronted him. Two days later, I received a rude message from Megh, asking me if I have uttered anything. I said yes. I told him that how hiding this fact played with my mental peace. I told him that I felt scared to even think of sitting at the same dinner table with him. I told him I hated his intentions and that they were to be dealt with. He told me just one thing- He could ruin everything. How I wish I paid heed to his warning.
I told Dev about this conversation. He kept mum. I just did not know why. I demanded an answer. He kept quiet. I let it go. I know I shouldn’t have.
After eight good months of me not talking to Megh, I got to know that his engagement was announced. It was an arranged marriage proposal. I was called by Megh to the dinner party that he was throwing. I had to accompany Dev. I thought may be I should also forget the past and move on.
On the dinner table, I saw that man, comfortably kissing his uncomfortable fiance. Some people just can not change. Their desires take over their conscience way too easily. I excused myself to go to the washroom. In the corridor of the restaurant, I heard footsteps behind me. Before I could turn around, I found myself up against the wall, taken up by a force that hurt my elbows so much. He tried to force himself on me. He threatened me to keep my mouth shut and that he has still not forgiven me for ruining his relationship with his brother, even if it was for few days.
That was the time I could sense how my love for Dev has made me go so weak to even stand for myself. I tried to escape. Megh let me lose. I rushed to Dev. I excused us from the dinner table. I told him everything. I was scared. He got furious, but of course we couldn’t have created a scene. But I ask myself now, why not?
I asked Dev why he did not confront him? He bluntly told me the reason. I also talked to Megh. I was equally responsible. If he ever confronted his elder brother, he wouldn’t have been able to justify why I entertained his behaviour. Why did I even have that chat? Why did I receive his phone call after he showed me his true colors? Why did I have just the screenshots of the part where Megh was being inappropriate? I was not even shocked. This came from the man I have spent almost all my life with. How could have I anticipated an abuse out of an unsuspecting man who was so close to the love of my life?
I did not portray myself as that victimized lady. All I asked for was Dev’s support. My world of love, trust and respect shattered at that moment. I never expected that his distrust on me would come out in this manner. All I wanted was a harmony between me and his family. I saw it as my responsibility to maintain that integrity which was never in my interest.
Isn’t that the story of almost every Indian woman? But that was the moment I decided that my integrity was more important than anything. Even if it was worth fifteen years of commitment and togetherness.
With tears rolling down my cheeks and with the hard-hitting truth of becoming an “I” from “we” again, I turned back. Dev was standing there, asking me to come back. He said that we can sort this one out.
Not this time my man, not this time. Abuse in any form is unacceptable. One last time, a good bye. With all my dignity and grace, restored.
This is fictional account because somethings are too difficult to express as a reality.