"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




Try as she might, she could not forget the ordeal. She tried to cuddle her young son and distract her mind, but the tingling in her womb - the bastard growing inside - would not let her digress, not even through sleep. The pain she felt in her private parts, the bite marks that bled her breasts, would take away every semblance of goodness that she was taught to respect life for.
 
Tired, dazed, hungry, she slumped - unconsciously - into a brief nap but the horror came back to haunt her dream - the kidnapper dragging her and her friends from school, miles of travel in dark trucks, being hostage in some deserted underground bunker that crawled with roaches, and then being pulled out many times a day just to be raped by different men over and over again. Sometimes she would reject the food, to attempt to die away but the friends would eventually console and feed each other; to live for the hope that they would be rescued. And then the guns and tanks sounding one day, of military rescuing them to a safe house, of being united with her son and peace for a few days. Of nice soldiers that guarded them; of soldiers who were being nicer than needed, of doctors who touched and groped them on the pretext of medical tests, of cooks who served more food to the ladies that smiled at them... And then it came back - the events of previous evening... the warden calling her to his room to discuss about her resettlement. His speaking of her remarriage and offering her tea. Then she had sipped the tea... and the next thing she remembered was waking up in her bed with body in pain and clothes torn in several places...
 
She woke up with a shriek. Her body pains had come back. And so was the warden, smiling gently as he passed by her room. The hungry smile.
 
She wished she could escape, but in the war-stricken country, she had nowhere to go. There was no family, no home. Only camps filled with monsters. It was not clear if the war created the monsters or the other way round.
 
It was not fair of God to expect her to live on like this - a life with no choice. She wept. Wasn't it a human right to enjoy freedom to live how one wanted? Was it wrong to expect happiness? She did not aspire for riches or luxury, just peace and quiet. And there did not seem any sanctuary for it.
 
Of all the good things of life, she saw none. They spoke of ideals, like justice, harmony, wellness and brotherhood. Where had it disappeared?
 
Wait!
 
'Justice' - could she find that? The social justice they spoke about was just a pompous abstraction - the only real justice was what each made for themselves. And that wasn't something she had to wait for; she had to go and get it herself, isn't it?

Finding justice could help her make peace and quiet the currents in her heart. Yeah! finally she could find the peace and quiet she so much desired.
 
She threw a glance at Mark - that decrepit man lying by the toilet. He was a terminal AIDS patient and everyone despised him. The soldiers enjoying kicking him whenever they passed by, and the doctors hurled abuses at him. Nevertheless, Mark had gentle eyes and never retorted back. In Mark, she saw a human being that was missing in all the others. She made her plan - she would go to Mark that night, cajole him, caress him, and sleep with him. By giving him a fully loved sex, she would bring a momentary joy on Mark's face. A parting gift. Yes! she would get the AIDS, but what use was a healthy life for her? Then she would happily go back to the warden, and to any soldier that lusted for her body. And she would give them everything, the body and all its afflictions. A vengeful lesson.
 
She needed a weapon to fight the injustice - her body would be that weapon. She sought a weakness in her assailants - their lust would be that weakness. Thus, she would find her justice - in giving life to a dying man, and death to uselessly living men.
 
 
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In shameful acknowledgement of the unimaginable suffering that ladies go through in various lawless parts of the world - like Africa, for instance. The monstrosity of the lust in men seems like a personification of the wrath of the God himself.
 
 
 
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