(Important Note: This is a fiction because I never encountered such situation but a harsh reality for millions of girls and women).
She is a free-spirited girl. Her face is just a reflection of beauty that dwelled in her heart and in her thoughts. Her dreams, racing to reach stars and beyond and but she always kept her feet grounded. She is joy; she is beauty; she is pride of her loved ones. She is a God’s gift.
18-year-old Anjali is an aspiring fashion designer, recently took admission into college. She is as fun to be with as much she is focused on her goals in life. Nothing could budge her from the path she chose. Her studies and assignments kept her so occupied that she barely finds time to spend quality time with friends. The only time when she could do some chit-chat with her friends was during the travel time from her home to college and vice versa.
Life seemed to be simply rolling forward for her until she met Raju. He is not even her friend let alone boy friend. Their meeting (I am not sure if we could call it meeting) was just an accident on her way to home. It just happened that he boarded the same bus back to home as Anjali. He saw her and his eyes locked a gaze on her face. She noticed the fact that he was staring at her, she was uncomfortable but decided to ignore. She thought “it happens, better not to pay attention”. She got down from the bus soon and went straight to her home. Little did she notice that she was followed by a pair of eyes till she eluded the vision.
On next day going back to home again she saw the familiar face of stranger ogling at her. And once again decided to look the other way. This continued for few more days before Raju gained enough confidence to try to move closer to Anjali. And she was getting furious about this unwanted attention she was garnering. But still she didn’t let a word escape from her mouth.
Soon she realised that she was being stalked. Stalked everywhere, to college, to home and pretty much everywhere. Her silence has boosted his confidence so much that he started calling out her name amidst crowded streets in a manner that made her cringe. Eliciting no response from her he now dared to stop her, held her hand and put forth his proposal “I want to be your friend, I like you very much, do think about this”. There was not even an iota of respect or softness in his tone. She hasted her way to home in fear. She doesn’t know with whom shall she discuss about this stalker. That day ended in a sleepless night.
Following days were not different. Now she started receiving blank calls too. From a free-spirited girl she was slowly transforming into a fear-stricken soul. The constant fear of someone watching her has made her draw herself in a shell. She started staying back at home and even felt distracted from her goals.
Her parents began to notice this change in her behaviour. Concerned for their daughter they persuaded her to cough up the entire issue. They were taken aback. Her father said “you were going through so much and you never thought of letting us know, why? You never thought we are worthy enough to share your problems with. If we can give you the freedom to choose your career/ life path can’t we do our bit to safeguard it? Anjali was moved to tears of joy with these words. She anticipated their concern but never imagined such a supportive stance. Reason: she have seen people (read) family blaming female only for every injustice and atrocity inflicted upon her. The common mindset says, must be her fault only.
All these thoughts gave rise to a wave of agony in her, she wanted to cry her lungs out venting out what she felt. And this incident in her life mellowed her down with fear. Fear of being accused, fear of being targeted by a maniac, fear of missing out on life. But with the love showered upon her by her father and support her parents gave her, fear dispersed. She has decided to confront her fear to defeat it.
Very next day when she was going to college she was being followed by Raju, just as the routine would have it. The moment she realised it she stopped and turned to find him at a distance of about 10-15 feet. He stopped too instantly. But this time she took charge and proceeded towards him. He was in a fix but wore a smile which was cunning on its very appearance. Anjali: What is that you exactly want from me?
Raju: I told you already, I want to be your friend, I like you.
Anjali: Agreed, how many of your friends have been befriended by you in this fashion. I hope none because what you are doing is cynical and a criminal activity. Following someone against their will is equal to harassment. And coining this very idea as liking or love is an example of your madness.
Raju: (shocked by confrontation as he never anticipated her courage) I really like you, what makes you think that I am a rogue?
Anjali: Are you seriously so naive or acting well? Stalking a girl, cracking distasteful jokes about women, do you need further proof of you being a rogue, a man of no values. I know it satiated your male ego to see me bogged down by fear and succumb to your pressure. But today I deny to give up and give in. It gives me immense pleasure to announce that I don’t fear you anymore. And don’t you dare to even fantasize the idea of harming me in any way for I won’t take it lying down further. I hope the message is loud and clear now.
She left leaving him stumped. Ashamed and genuinely apologetic or simply insulted he was never seen again around her.
It’s her triumph. And triumph comes when fear is confronted… Period!
via Daily Prompt: Anticipation