It was my marriage anniversary. My 10th year anniversary and Neeraj had thrown a grand bash to celebrate this happy occasion. Oh, what a pretty picture we painted, my loving husband, my children-a 9 year old daughter and a 4 year old son and I. Many of our guests exclaimed what a beautiful home I had and what a lovely family we made. My parents who came down to celebrate this happy day with us, took pride in showing off their son in law, a top businessman, who looked after their darling daughter like a princess.
My father told me that my husband was the best thing that had happened in my life. And that I should do everything possible to keep him happy. My mother did not look up. She couldn’t meet my eyes. Because she knew.
The party ended quite late in the night and I was completely exhausted greeting the guests and taking care of the arrangements. Slowly, the guests trickled out and it was time to put the kids to bed. I hugged them close and slept beside them until I could hear their soft snores. I wished that I could sleep beside them but I knew better.
With my heart pounding I went inside our bedroom. I saw Neeraj’s profile in the dark, sleeping quietly under the sheets and I sighed as I realized he was asleep. I crept soundlessly and slept at the edge of the bed. I could feel Neeraj stirring and his arms fell on my waist.
“Neeraj, I am very tired today”, I tried begging with him but I knew that no amount of pleading would placate the monster in him.
“Oh, come on, you don’t have to go to office in the morning. All you do is stay at home and relax”, he said as he thrust himself on me. He pinned me to the bed and as the silent tears slid down my cheeks, his grunts grew louder. I waited for the torment to be over and lay as still as a dead body. But Neeraj did not notice, in fact he never did. As the monster in him grew stronger, the bruises appeared on my body.
I remembered my kids and as I shut my eyes, their innocent faces appeared in my mind. I remembered my mother, to whom I had gone to when I wanted to confide about the abuse.
She had turned me back saying that it was a wife’s duty to satisfy her husband’s needs in bed. She had also said that Neeraj took good care of me and saw to it that I was provided for. That was the day I knew I was alone in this battle. If my parents wouldn’t support me who would? Who could I talk to about what happens in my bed, in the dark of the night?
I had thought several times of escaping but each time Neeraj threatened to take away my children. I knew he could do that. He had money, he had power. And who would believe me if I said that my husband raped me every night, in the comfort of my home. Some would even point out, it was my fault that I wasn’t able to satisfy the carnal needs of my husband.
As Neeraj finally rolled off me and went to sleep, I dragged myself to clean my bruises and cover it up. After all tomorrow would be another day to keep up the façade and present myself as the dutiful wife of the loving husband.
*I would have put a disclaimer saying this is a work of fiction but I cannot as this is a true story occurring in countless homes*