born again.

it was a long and painful process
but she had made up her mind
she’d heard of women 
who stayed in a relationship,
for the sake of their children.

she believed they should have not -
especially for the good of their children.
failed relationships ruined the couple
but its repercussions 
shattered the innocent minds.
turned them into adults 
who did not believe in relationships.
she knew because she was the product of one.
she was not going to be like her mother 
for the sake of her daughter. 

she remembered -
as a child she woke up
to the sounds of her parents fighting
every night she cried herself to sleep,
as her mother cried while nursing the wounds.
her father sprawled unconscious on the floor.

her mother never left her father,
not until she was buried in a grave
and then, it was her turn -
to be the punching bag for the man
until the day when she packed her stuff 
and the money she had saved
stole her father's gold watch
and got into a bus, to never go back again.

it was tough for her to believe in love
and fall for the man who loved her
but she did.
he was good, he cared, he was a passionate man
her faith in relationship was restored 
each day, with each caring gesture
he filled her life with love
made her feel special.
the kiss, the touch
and the passionate love-making
her old self died in his arms 
and then she was born again.

reborn as a different person,
a person who believed in love
a person who would do anything for the man she loved.
she became exactly what he wanted her to be.
and once she was, he became what he was. 

the marriage. the struggle. day to day adjustments.
changed him or maybe this was who he really was.
he got his way when he wanted it.
it was subtle in the beginning,
something she did not object to.
then it turned into something,
she could not object to.

the gaslighting. the emotional blackmailing.
coming home late, drunk
the kiss on her mouth 
when she tried to complain
became a regular occurrence. 
having sex became 
the way to avoid confrontation.

pregnancy. mood changes.
and the changes in the body.
he grew tired of coming home to that.
he often came home late, drunk 
just like he did before
but this time he did not need the sex.
he found his way to satiate the need
because his pregnant wife failed to arouse him.

late night messaging, whisperings on the phone
disturbed her sleep and her peace of mind.
labour pains. rushing to the hospital, alone
while he was in bed with another woman.

he visited her in the hospital
held their baby girl in his arms
cried the happy tears
and kissed his wife. 
and she kissed him back,
she believed now things would be different.

the breast-feeding. the decreased sex drive
she could not respond to his foreplay.
the emotional abuse had started long back
this was when the verbal began.

he walked out and did not return home for days
he was out of touch
and she was on verge of losing sanity.
one day, she saw the Instagram feed 
of his friend she knew -
the woman was in bathing suit,
kissing a man wearing briefs.
the next photo making it clear who the man was.
her husband was on a cruise
while she had been worried sick.

when he came back from the vacation,
she confronted him 
as their baby slept in the crib.
that was the first time the abuse became physical.
a tight slap across her face to shut her up
pinning her to the ground as she struggled.
and licking her bloody lip just before the kiss.

her cries of let me go
his breathing getting quicker
and heart rate getting faster
the touch of his bulge against her thigh.
the fear in her eyes
the realisation of what was about to happen.
increase attempts to break free
and the counteracting pressure on the wrists -
ended with her on the floor, clothes torn,
crying, knees close to her chest
and him pulling up his pants.

it was a long and painful process
but she had made up her mind
she was not going to be like her mother 
for her daughter's sake.

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