The Last Dance

By Anmol Arora

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“Let me go,” I screamed.
He punched me hard in the gut. Held me by my hair and dragged me away from the exit, back to the stage. I tried to grab hold of the chairs,the drapes, anything to resist him, but he was too strong, too evil.
“The session is not over, Ayla, where do you think you are going?” he asked.
“Don’t do this,” I pleaded. “You are my guru.”
“Consider this a lesson in humility, your gurudakshina.”
I cried from anger, from pain, and from helplessness. I was locked up with an animal.
He pinned me to the floor and tore off my blouse. He bit into my nipples like he would rip them off. The pain was unimaginable. I sank my nails into his face and scratched the skin beneath his left eye. That didn’t stop him either. I tried to shout for help. His elbow pressed against my face to silence me. I had no strength to either retaliate or endure. Giddiness took over me.
I couldn’t breathe. My body was smeared with his saliva—thick, sticky and disgusting. His tongue and teeth ran through every inch of my body, lustily. He had complete control over my body.
My repeated pleas of mercy had no effect on him. His hand slid inside my underwear. Found their way to my vagina and entered with full force. It was the first time I was penetrated. The pain was unbearable.
“It’s hurting. Please don’t do this.”
But he wouldn’t listen. He took his pants off. I shouted my lungs out in panic.
“I beg you. I won’t be able to dance tomorrow.”
He didn’t listen. Bit me on the navel and between my thighs. When his hunger was satisfied, he lay down next to me breathing heavily. He was not human; he was a monster.
“Don’t mention this to anyone,” he commanded. “Remember, you have a dance performance tomorrow. We don’t want to ruin that, do we?”
When I didn’t respond, he grabbed me by the neck with both hands and told me to repeat after him, “This will be our little secret.”
“This will be our little secret,” I mumbled.
I was suffocating. My vision became hazy. I was going to die. He let go of my neck and gently stroked my hair. I coughed my guts out.
He threw my clothes back at me and left. I remained motionless.I lay there for a long time staring at the ceiling, not knowing what to do. The stage for my first performance had become the stage of my shame. It took all my strength to get up and step out of the auditorium. The road was deserted. It had begun to rain.
It was neither a downpour nor a drizzle. Tears trickled down my cheeks like raindrops falling from the sky. I was drenched in anger and shame.
My chappals got stuck in the mud. The straps came off. I couldn’t pull them out. To hell with it, I thought and began walking barefoot. Sharp pebbles pierced my feet but I didn’t feel any pain now; I was numb.
No autorickshaw or taxi stopped to give me a ride. I knew I would have to walk the twelve kilometres back home. My fate.
People looked at me with suspicion. They stared at my torn clothes, ruffled hair and bleeding feet. When their eyes met mine, they hastily looked away. They didn’t want anything to do with me. The world can be a cruel, cruel place.
May Allah never make another woman suffer like me, but was He listening?

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