'I love him and I hate him to the same degree. I have to let go of one emotion.
But no. It can not be. I seek indifference. That is letting go.'
An year ago, I didn't think I'd be saying this to myself. We were happy. A newly wedded couple, blissfully unaware of what the future might bring. It was on a fateful night we were walking down the street after a late night show when the muggers cornered us. They look his wallet and our belongings. But when they turned to leave, one of them saw his most precious possession- me.
He tried to make a faint effort to save me, but they were armed and dangerous. I saw them fist him to a bloody pulp before they came for me. And yet, I imagined that a miracle would give him the strength to save us both. But no help came. He lied beside me, with his limbs twisted ominously. I can't say who I was more scared for at that moment.
They ravished me one after the another, until my tired screams turned into stifled whimpers. The last thing I saw before I lost my senses was a vague outline of his body. I was hoping he is still alive.
The morning came, I opened my eyes in a white room. I wondered if it was all just a bad dream. But the pain in the body was real. And I saw scratches and teeth mark everywhere. My body disgusted me. I felt warm tears tickle down my face and onto my pillow. For a while, I lied on my wet pillow, forcing my eyes closed- imagining, like I did as a child, it wasn't true.
I saw a plump woman in uniform. I asked her about my husband, not sure what to expect. She said he still hadn't come round.
The harrowing details of our reporting the incident and our endless wait to help identify the culprits can be spared. When we came back home together, we felt like strangers to each other.
He wouldn't look at my face, the face that he once loved. I wondered if he despised me. Months passed, we lay beside each other without him turning once. I felt he is awake, but even in the darkest hours, he didn't make an effort to touch me or look towards me. I felt I wanted to cry. And I cried. I cried till my tears dried the inside of me. I couldn't feel the pain anymore. It was a void, empty feeling.
We went on about on our lives as usual, but something had changed. Something which I alone could not set right.
I looked at her when she was not aware- while she fixed breakfast for me, with her wet hair hanging loose on her back. Sometimes, when she was not at home, I'd take a whiff of her clothes to feel her presence. But I couldn't look into her eyes or touch her or make the slightest effort at a conversation. I felt my voice would give away my guilt. Yes, my guilt . Of not having tried enough to save her.
Sometimes, I wondered if she knew that I was still conscious when they devoured her. I heard her calling my name, trying hard to look at me amidst those dirty hungry fingers. Her mouth being torn apart, and bit by bit her whole body.
She kept crying and calling my name. But I lied like a coward. Afraid of more blows, of the knives, of being shot in the head. Afraid of ending my miserable life, instead of rushing to her and holding her hand and telling her that she was not abandoned. That I felt her pain. For a wretched moment, I even hoped she would just stop calling my name, lest they should think I was still alive. And for that I have not forgiven myself. I never will in my whole life.