I was raped.
“7 August 2016
To everyone who is reading this,I am not sure what I am looking for when I am putting this out to the world, to my ‘friends’ and ‘public’. I know the need to say this, call him out and know what it feels like to breathe without feeling helpless.It was my first time in a city that had more avenues to lose yourself in than the number of alleys in my town. It was friendship’s day. The first with alcohol, a life with no onlookers, no barriers. I just got into college and made some friends, the firsts are always the ones you remember longest. I was asked to go to a party by a friend to meet her boyfriend in MG Road. Those who have been to this city would know every lane connecting to this place. Freedom is a strange cage, with the depths beyond comprehension. I was drowning in the liberty to do what people were doing, drinking and being a part of the nightlife of youth culture. I was with this couple, they called me ‘family’. I am sure they meant it. I almost am. A third one joined soon after I was losing count of how many fingers were held up against my face. I had heard of him, the kind that has been through thick and thin for years with the other two. There’s this thing about hope and wish, they become the mother of your thoughts, and you let your understanding take a backseat. It was a cheap resto-bar and I was drunk more than I ever was. I remember everyone moving around and the whole place going in circles inside my head, I couldn’t look straight, my vision was blurred. The third person, let’s call him Haine. Haine was around me, holding me up close and dancing. I cannot remember who reached out first but I remember kissing him. My friends saw it too, I have heard about it later. I remember getting into a cab with all of them. Haine sat in the front seat, the rest three of us in the back. My head was spinning. I vomited as soon as the car stopped at the boyfriend’s place. It was too late to go back to the hostel and we were too drunk to speak sense or decide what else we could possibly do then.There was a fourth person, the roommate of the boyfriend. Casual guy, minds his own business. In a while, after some chaos from the hostel authorities and home, we got to bed. The couple in a room, the roommate and Haine in the hall, I in the other bedroom. I hadn’t yet learnt to deal with hangovers and headaches, everything was loose and my eyes hurt. Haine came to talk to me, asking if I was okay. I wasn’t but I didn’t know any better. In a few moments, he was laying by me, pulling me real close. I was talking to someone on a call, my face turned away and his hands all over my back, now sliding inside my top. I didn’t know which to take care of first and I was fumbling over the phone and pushing him away. The lights were off already. He wasn’t hard to feel, he had his hands all over me, stinking of cigarettes. I cannot recall the movements, but I sure remember him forcibly pulling off my top and breathing all over me with his disgusting mouth. I kept pushing him away and saying ‘no’ multiple times. He turned a deaf ear to them, he would not move away from me. My mind lacked the control I am supposed to have over my motor skills and the strength in me was giving up. I liked someone in college back then and I mentioned it to him. In response, he said ‘think of me as him’. All my fights and pleas to ask him to get off me went numb, his clothes were off and his hands and mouth were all over me, pinning me down. My words were jumbled between ‘please’ ‘don’t’ ‘no’ ‘stop’. I did not scream, I was too scared to wake people up. I still wonder why. ‘Freeze’ is the term I later realised. He was carrying a condom like it was just another paper card that was supposed to be in his wallet. He got inside of me despite all of my pleadings. I was passing out now and then, my discomfort and asking him to stop went on; he admitted it, later on, in a conference call. He raped me. Twice. On the same bed, his filthy existence.We had gone to the washroom, one after the other, in the other bedroom. I did not know how to see the light, how to walk out of the washroom. I could not believe what happened was the definition of rape. It was too soon to strike. Everyone had woken up by the commotion and hunger took a toll. We were all sharing Maggi from the same plate later and something about my face was different. He slept on the same bed that night. I didn’t sleep, I passed out.I left early the next morning. Haine came with me in the cab. He dropped me near my hostel and left me with an i-pill. I gulped it down, wondering what it all really meant. He had mumbled how he likes me and how I should try to understand him, the night before. I could not process it. Yet.I met my friend in college the afternoon the day after and I told her all about it. I guess it wasn’t enough said. I see her around with him. Near college, and in pictures. I was made to meet him twice to ‘settle’ things. We had gone out for lunch once with Haine and her. It felt suffocating, the smile I had plastered on my face was choking me.The couple and I, with Haine, had a conference call. He apologised, ‘sorry’, in the tone that you’re told the price of the breakage in a store. Before Haine got on the call, I was talking to the boyfriend. I remember ‘he was drunk’ and ‘he is sorry’ but I couldn’t bring myself to collect one reason to forgive me. I still don’t.Later, some months after, a friend of Haine and a friend of mine from college started dating. Someone said Haine and I had hooked up. No, we did not hook up, he raped me. I just didn’t have the courage to say it back then. I was too afraid to lose the friends I had become so fond of, the closest ones in a city I knew no one in.I broke down sobbing in college one time, somebody was playing a guitar. I could not go out of my hostel for months after. I gave myself that in return for the friendship. My first, in this city of nights of hopelessness and hurt.I tried talking to my then ex-boyfriend, and he made sure he made me believe it was my fault I was drinking that night.Two years later, I still think of the difference the understanding of a single syllable word, ‘No’, could have made.Some nights, you cannot even cry yourself to sleep. Some nights you just burn.”
Haine is studying in R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore. He is popularly known as Pratap. He is a rapist.