Hania’s story is one of six winning stories of the #WeToo competition, a collaboration between Stories To Action and Dastaan, where young people shared inspired by COVID-19’s impact on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
His wife had been away at her mother’s home for 25 days now. He would come back home from work and keep himself busy, watching television till late. He sorely missed his son and wife but it seemed like she was rather enjoying herself and wasn’t coming back anytime soon.
Today, he was feeling under the weather and slept as soon as he reached home at 6.
Knock, knock, knock!
“Argh, who’s that?!” he woke up with a start.
Night had fallen. It was now 9 o’clock.
Knock, knock, knock!
Someone banged at the door again.
As soon as he opened the door, his temper shot up!
“Uncle, do you have some ice or cold water?”, a timid voice asked
He was livid. He wanted to raise his hand at the boy, but looking at his meek demeanor, his tattered clothes and white skin, a demon stirred inside Shahab.
He had been taming his inner beast for days now, waiting for his wife to return and fulfil his needs. But now, his mind had started concocting a sinister plan— one that would target the innocent child in front of him.
“Where did you come from?”, he asked in a slow yet firm voice, wanting the boy to tell the truth but not be scared off.
“From the nearby cottages. Sahab, I need water, it’s too hot out.”
“Alright, come inside”
The predator inside him was now fully awake. He couldn’t wait. He baited his prey and lead him to the bedroom.
Instead of water, he handed him a cold glass of sweet Rooh-e-Afza and started caressing him, here and there. The boy was young and naïve; he didn’t quite understand what was happening.
“Drink up. Don’t be shy, I’ll give you cake, too”, said Shahab
As he finished his juice, Shahab got worried that he would leave. He bought him another glass, along with a big slice of cake.
Dimming the lights of the room, he took off his clothes, and grabbed the boy. The child kept quiet. It seemed as if he hadn’t received a proper meal in many days. Maybe the reason he didn’t say anything was because he knew that if he stopped Shahab from being the monster he was being, the food would be taken away, as well.
For half an hour, the monster kept touching the boy while satisfying himself. Even after the second glass of juice and the piece of cake had been finished, Shahab kept going on. He was strong and the 8-year-old, weak. It was impossible to escape him. The child could only eat and look into open space.
After half an hour, when Shahab had calmed himself down, he put his clothes back on and thrust a 100 rupee note into the boys hand.
“Get going now! And I’m warning you; one word and I’ll put you in jail for robbery. Take the money, buy some roti and stay quiet, got it?”
“Here, take some more cake and a water bottle”, he continued “Don’t let me see you here again, boy. Zip it!”
By next morning, this monster, who had assaulted an 8-year-old child, would have forgotten about the whole incident and maybe even the fact that the boy he had so mercilessly groped, was 3 times his junior and only a small boy.