...And one day, they heard a gossip.. Actually Cherry heard it...
"Raj, you know that Nikita that fella, was gang raped brutally yesterday and her Akka was murdered by those brutes.." "What?" "Who told you all this...?"
" I heard those people gossiping and it was in the papers.." "We ought to go to see her.."
So they went. But couldn't see her..
No, no.. that's not why they're here...
She went back to college after about a month. Her physical injuries had soothed but,... Anyways, these younger people at Khushiyan did not seem to accept her..
"But how come it all happened?" "She must have been wearing some vulgar dress.." "But newspaper reports say she'd been visiting her orphanage and returning and was wearing a suit..
" "Oh! comm'on! These incidents don't happen just like that.." "Hmmm.. You must be right.."
The gossips were endless..
She'd returned to the college and was looking fine.. Everything was same in her.. or not..?
But she'd definitely become quieter.. she talked lesser and lesser , even to her friends ... (her close friends..) , but they weren't her classmates...
So, one day.. "Cherry!" she called upon the same while she was hanging out in the cafe.. They had not seen her since ages..
"Could I borrow your notes..? just for a day?" Cherry was reluctant. "Please! don't deny.. None of them are lending me notes.. Please! you're my only hope left.." She looked at her...
"OK! fine.. Take it.." Cherry smiled. "I'll return them tomorrow positively.." She smiled back rather painfully.
Nakul called up Cherry "I need your notes..." "They aren't with me." "But where are they then?" "With Nikita." "Why did you give it?" "Because I can't refuse her at this time..
It will hurt her immensely.." "Why so?" "Didn't you read in newspapers? "
She told him the entire story.. "OK! fine, she's returning them tomorrow right? " "Ya" "I'll take them from you tomorrow.."
She came to the class "I'll return you the other one just after two hours please? Can i? " "It's OK!" "I'll get it photocopied and return." "It's OK dear!" She smiled at her.
She smiled back still painfully.
"Why don't you join us for lunch.. Nikita " suggested Cherry when she returned her notebook.
She looked up at the little company of FRIENDS" "I guess I'll not" "I don't want to disturb you guys.." she was still very upset..
"You won't be.. Do join us.." said Raj. "No.. It's better that I don't.." she said looking at Nakul. "They'll mock you for nothing.. and anyways I've applied for scholarship test..
for fee concession" she added.
"Oh they'll call you for that.." "No! they won't They've already skipped twice.." she said.
They all knew what she meant... It's this how our society and we treat rape survivors..
If someone has committed a crime we punish the criminal.. But if someone has committed a rape, we punish the victim...
Back in the office, once again they mocked her on and on and raped her soul.. "Did you know the rapists? How many were there? What were you wearing?...." They didn't stop at this...
"Listen, you well know that what does it all mean.. you know.. Girls like you can't be given scholarships? What will we show in our records?... Scholarship to a rape victim.."
"What was my mistake?" "Huh! As if you don't know.."
"NO! No! I don't.. I don't know what was my mistake if THEY raped me... I don't know what was my mistake if THEY were brutes.. I don't know what was my mistake if THEY were sick..
I really don't... "
It was a heart piercing note she left behind, AFTER CHOOSING to take the step and BEFORE TAKING the step...
It was chance.. rather say Nikita's luck that Nakul had been there.. Probably to sympathize.. (It's just a 200% pure guess )
He saw her..
She, had finally lost...
She did not lose when her parents died.. She did not lose when he had insulted her.. She did not lose when Trisha insulted her.. She did not lose when they raped her..
She did not lose when Akka was no more physically with her.. She did not lose then.."
But when you LOSE HOPE you FINALLY LOSE.. and so did she.. Today she finally lost..
Why did she lose today?
It wasn't fair surely?
She was a coward, right?
"Wrong! I do need. I'm going to stay here only. You guys may come tomorrow. I'll be here..."