It was Nikki’s second birthday, and prakash had brought home a beautiful strawberry cake, that Ena is now decorating with candles, while their daughter Nikki was deep asleep in the bedroom. Ena asked prakash to pass the matchbox, she needed to light up the candles. Prakash searched his pockets, but there wasn’t any. He ran to the kitchen and found the matchbox.
Prakash handed over the matchbox to Ena and said ” you know I have quit smoking, at last.”
” Good for you, keep this up, I don’t want to see you smoking again.” Said Ena.
Prakash smiled and handed over the matchbox to Ena, while she remembered the days when she used to hate prakash for her smoking habbit. The disturbing smell that used to come from his mouth made Ena stand at least couple of feet away from him. But then she thought, if it wasn’t prakash who held her hand firmly at that time, then her life would have been hell. She just couldn’t imagine how difficult her life would have been now. Prakash gave her the support, the confidence to carry on with her life, the guts to raise a baby at such an early age, the social approval so that she was called a slut.
Ena used to hate prakash, in her college days, the guy had no sense of responsibility, is what she thought of prakash. They could never stand each other, all they were into was pure hatred.
Ena took a match stick out of the box and rubbed it against the rough side of the box, it didn’t fire up. ” What kind of match sticks do you buy? ” Said Ena.
Prakash smiled and said ” only those which light up!” And started giggling.
Ena rubbed the match stick again and the giggle of prakash reminded of her of the giggle he had when he heard of Nikki’s birth. Everting was not so fine then…
That particular night Ena was not feeling particularly well. She didn’t turn up for office, slept the entire day on her six by four hostel bed. Her hair was all messed up, her phone was dead and she didn’t even changed the clothes she wore to Maya’s birthday party last night.
She stared at the open window, it would seem that she was gazing at something outside the window, but she wasn’t. Her blank eyes stared for hours now at the changing patterns of white clouds in the deep blue sky.
Ena was in the third year of her college, she was 21 and she was pregnant.
Last night at Ena’s party she had vomited out the single bottle of beer that she had had. It’s not usually the Ena has a gagging reflex going on. She ran to the nearest medical shop and bought a couple of pregnancy test kit, and dashed into Ena’s washroom. Both the times she was tested positive. Now Ena is left only with a lot of unwanted question, fear, uncertainty and a baby in her body, whose father was still not known to Ena herself.
That infamous night when the college was about to get over and the farewell party was in full swing, Ena was six pegs down and barely had any control of herself. She was sitting on the couch when someone approached her with a warm hug. She was too drunk to even get hold of what was happening to her. Then all she revered was waking up in the washroom cubicle, when the lady police constable dragged her out of there. Later she came to know that she was drugged, and today she came to know that she was even raped.
This wasn’t an easy revelation for any woman, and Ena being only Twenty-one, she had passed into a state of limbo.
Ena got up from the bed and tried to gather her thoughts, to find the next thing she should do. Ena switched her phone on and called her best friend Riya. Riya was shell shocked to hear the news and suggested her to stay back at the hostel and wait till she arrived.
Ena wanted to keep the child, but she was answerable to the society, her parents, her relatives. Nobody would believe that this baby was from a rape, instead everyone will arrive at judgement that Ena is slut.
The one person she could remember was the awkward guy from mechanical engineering