“It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.” Said the manager of the mafia. “I hope you know that.”
They knew that the moment they both said yes in a chorus together to that offer. They had a habit of doing that, saying same things simultaneously.
They were perfect for each other, everyone in the village said so. Now they were in the city, the place they longed to accomplish their mission. They couldn’t see their families go through the torture the landowners of the village made them so they fled. They had hardly reached the working age when they decided to leave the village and work in the city.
“You know we can do anything we want, they call it the land of dreams. “ she said to him trying to lighten the lines on his forehead from the heat of the afternoon scorching Sun.
“I still think it’s a bad idea.” He said.
“I know it too, but what other option do we have. Maybe its not as bad as we think it is.” She assured him.
“Tonight we’ll find out what work they will give us.”
“What did they say about the money?” she asked.
“They said it will be given to us after the completion of the work.” He replied.
“How much did they say?”
“They said 10,000 rupees.” He said with his eyes widened so as to let the greed seep in.
“10,000? We could buy the entire village lands from that money.” She said with amazement. They had never imagined all that money in one place even and now it was going to be theirs.
“Hey what happened? Why did they put you into the room? What work were you given?” asked the boy furiously as he saw the bruises on her skin.
The manager of the mafia handed out the money to them. “It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.” He said. “I hope you know that.”
She was breathing strangely, as if in a huge trauma herself and she said, ”They are not paying us for any good work, they are paying us for my body.”
“What?” he said angrily. She was his, not an object but his. His heart was hers and she had saved herself for him and only him until tonight. Now her words were killing him, her tears were stabbing him.
“They sold me to multiple men.” She said crying her eyes out.
“They sold me.” And she cried with screams of agony.
His anger dropped down in the ocean of her pain, his arms wrapped her exposed body strongly but delicately, his arms wrapped her up to make her feel invincible as if immortal. She was reminded again why they were together after all.
After a while they were sitting out on the footpath resting their heads against the wall of a tall building. There were noises of vehicles’ horns passing by as if mocking them in the state they were in.
“This was all a big mistake, its all my fault. I am sorry love, I didn’t know this would happen.” He said looking in space with constant eyes.
“Its not your fault, neither of us knew.”
“By the way what did they make you do?”
“They used me as a human shield for one of their gang fights.”
“Oh my, I didn’t even notice, you must be hurt. Are you okay? How could I be so selfish? I am so sorry love, I am so sorry. Where are the wounds?”
“Oh the wounds on my body have healed themselves, but what they did to you has wounded my soul. Now I will never leave you alone.”
She rests her head on his shoulders and falls asleep. The next morning, she found herself alone on the same footpath and a piece of newspaper which was hiding from her sight. Its headline read : “A boy of 15 used as human shield in gang fight and killed brutally.” It was him.