with Anjali Shah (author & contributor)
For her English lessons at school, my youngest sister Anjali was asked to do an assessment task of her story-writing skills. This involved penning a short piece of prose using writing with ‘conventions and composition’ and the teacher required it to be written in the first person. Her Unit 3 Writing Assessment won critical acclaim from her English class teacher, who described it as ‘very reflective’ and a ‘compelling piece’. I recently invited her to contribute this short story to the Half-Eaten Mind and after finally managing to get the original sheets from her teacher, I now present Anjali’s short story here, for all to see.
It is the emotional and profound recollection of a woman remembering her past, the decision she made in finally coming to terms with a horrible event that took place when she was younger. Confiding in the one person she trusted most, it was a decision to escape from a traumatic event, from which she rose stronger, wishing for a better and happier future.
My sister was marked as a Grade B+ and a Level 6 for this assignment, and I can see she is a born fiction writer.
It was a split second decision. I knew almost immediately it was the wrong thing to do. Reflecting back on this made me think….wonder….how can I be so stupid? Fall for such a thing. Maybe I just liked having the attention for a while, as I hardly ever had it upon me. When I do, I feel special, cared for,….loved. But after the situation was over, I didn’t feel that sort of vibe anymore. It was the complete opposite, hate, being despised by many. I felt like killing myself to get out of the pain inside me. But I couldn’t do that. People will wonder why? Ask questions. The memories I leave behind won’t be pleasant at all, I think. The whole town would look down at my family, even on my silent deadly soul, if I died. I wouldn’t rest in peace (R.I.P.) in my coffin, I’ll rest in trauma…shame….feeling like I belong here, in the dark. By myself.
I share this pain with nobody. At all. I’ve tried once to someone who was my so-called “ex best friend”, but she couldn’t give a flying toss. She just acted like if she cared. I saw it in her eyes. She didn’t care…just wanted to walk away…expects me to be all fine after she “tried” to make me feel better… Who are your real friends, eh!?
My whole life just changed. I don’t think I’ll be able to tell anybody yet. Ever. Maybe when I’m a few years older and get all my exams out of the way. Telling someone who might make a big fuss over it, will just apply more stress on me. I mean, I can’t even write it down on a piece of scrappy paper…No. I can’t. I wouldn’t.
There are some experiences you would live to forget but somehow just can’t…probably never would. I don’t know… Will I ever be happy? I try…life is too short, so I hope I lead a good life, despite my horrid mistakes. God, please forgive me. Hoping I get a good job, a great husband and kids, a house….just be normal and lead a regular life like everybody else.
I reached breaking point. I sat down and talked with my boyfriend. Explained EVERYTHING that’s happened in my past life. He at least deserves to know. I can’t hide this from him. It’s tearing us apart.
I tell him about how I was sexually abused as a teenager. I explain how I was raped in my own house. How I’ve always felt like I wasn’t worthy of living. I explained it all. Finally.
In front of somebody who is very special and important to me. I broke down, screamed, cried, in pain, whilst recapping my terrible childhood, upbringing and social life.
I felt a waft of relief. Finally, I’m letting it all out. He understood. I couldn’t believe it.
He hugged me hard, held my hands, listened to EVERYTHING I had to say. He looked directly into my eyes as if he was searching into my soul, reliving my story with me. I was as shocked as he was.
But he helped me. He really has. I was so, so, so glad to have him in my life. I trust him and he knows it. I’m extremely lucky to have him in my life. He’s supported me from day one, ever since that time I told him. Most people out there in society nowadays will laugh it off, thinking that I’m lying or they simply don’t care. That’s how messed up some people are. But not him. And I’m forever grateful each day. He’s encouraged me to carry on living again, made me join support groups, the lot.
I’m 27 right now. My boyfriend and I decided to get married a few months after I told him it all. The best decision I ever made. We now have two children, a boy and a girl. They’re perfect. Looking back on this (not that I actually do, thanks to my husband!), I’m glad I finally let it out. What happened to me was NOT my fault. Yes, I was stupid not to fight back, but now I know that I’m the VICTIM. Not them….me.
Written by Anjali Shah.
Editing by Ms. Raen and Vijay Shah.
“camsunsetlake_copy.jpg” – anitapeppers, morgueFile LINK