You walk down the street with your keys between your knuckles, you can’t afford to be seen alone, you can’t afford to be followed home.
You’re walking, jogging, beginning to run, because you’re a POSSIBLE victim, you can’t be having fun- it’s past 10pm anyway.
Your dress is too short, your heels are too high- just pretend to talk on the phone, and let out a sigh, as the group of drunk men walk by.
Your head leans against the taxi window- “sit up straight” you think. The driver might notice, and you’d be the accomplice- because the events that unfold that night aren't in your hands,you know why? Because your hands are tied.
You walk up the stairs to your house thinking about the tears you just escaped, the fears you wish you could drive away, like the chauffeur did after seeing you’ve reached your doorway.
No one would believe you if anything wrong happened that night, because the victim can’t be right, right? “She’s delusional, a mess, intoxicated, she’s the one who baited them and who would have been able to resist?” The bullet just missed, but she won’t ever be free from the shackles of this imaginary assault and that’s your fault.
Laughing with your guy friends, knowing there are eyes on you- eyes that pry their way into your life, disregarding your privacy, because teens don’t need privacy, do they?
Watching your acquaintances watch you- silently slut shaming, silently blaming you for their internalized version of a crime. We can’t say anything though; “Be a mime”, they said.
“Ofcourse, she’s always around so many boys”, is the obvious explanation, but never in my imagination did I dream, the daughters of the nation would face worse exploitation than they do today.
The policing, shaming, telling us what to wear- eventually gets too much to bear, and we fall; Because after all, for how long can one endure the blame game, without being able to play it.
The game… the game was the assault, but it’s all your fault.