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Epilogue (Part 1)
Two years later...
"This is the helpline for victims of assault, how may I help you?"
"I..uh..I'm not even sure if I should be calling..."
"I'm here to help you, Ma'am. You have done the right thing by calling us. Please calm down. May I have your name, please?"
"I..I don't want to give you that information at this point.."
"I completely understand. You can tell me whenever you feel comfortable doing so. Now, before we proceed, may I ask if you are in any immediate danger?"
"What? No..No I'm fine for now..my husband is in his office.."
"Your husband? Does that mean your husband is the reason you are calling us today?"
"Yes..I mean, no..I told you, I'm not sure! This is a helpline for assaulted women..but is it classified as assault if it's your husband who is..."
"Domestic violence is definitely a form of abuse, Ma'am. I assure you, we will do everything we can to help you with this. Do you have any injuries that may need medical attention?"
"No! He's much too careful to leave any visible marks..except on my arms, sometimes. When he's angry, he grips my arms very hard, and I don't think he realizes it until later..but then he apologizes for it..."
"Anger is never an excuse, Ma'am. And an apology is not the end to this vicious cycle either. May I ask you for some more details?"
"Uh..sure..I'll try to answer.."
"How long have you been married?"
"It's almost two years now.."
"Do you have any children?"
"Do you live alone with your husband?"
"No, his family stays with us.."
"Are they aware of his behavior?"
"I..I don't know..I guess they know some of it..and they know he has a problem with managing his anger..but how can they know what goes on behind closed doors?"
"I see. I'm sorry, but I have to ask you some questions which may invade your privacy, but I assure you, this will remain between you and me. We need to know this if we have to decide how best to help you.."
"I..I will try.."
"Take your time, Ma'am. First, can you tell me when this first started?"
"Well..the manhandling was always there..but from the past few months, it has gotten worse..and then there was last night.."
"Last night? Is that the reason you decided to call us?"
"Yes..but I told you, I'm not sure if that is a reason at all.."
"Can you tell me what exactly happened last night?"
"Ma'am, are you still there?"
"I know this isn't easy for you. Please take your time as you tell me what happened.."
"Everything was fine last evening..we were at a party which he had thrown for his colleagues..but then he saw me talking to someone.."
"Was it someone he knew?"
"Yes, it was his cousin. I only spoke to him for five minutes, I promise! And we were only discussing a common friend.."
"I understand. And did your husband object to this?"
"Object? No..he didn't say anything right then..but I knew that he was jealous..for no reason!"
"And what happened after that?"
"We went home..and then he started shouting..he told me that I was characterless..and then he said that he would show me once and for all that I was his, and no one else's...he's very possessive, too.."
"Did he actually hit you?"
"No..no he didn't hit me..but he..I...he forced me to.."
"I think I know what you mean, Ma'am. You don't have to go into details if you are not comfortable with sharing that. But you have done the right thing by calling us. Sexual assault within the bounds of marriage is still a crime.."
"But I don't understand why he did this! He knows that I have faced something like this once before and.."
"Were you a victim of assault before this?"
"Yes, I was.."
"Like I said earlier, we will do everything we can to help you. As part of our team , we have doctors, therapists, and also lawyers, all of whom specialise in handling such cases. If you want , we can send a member of our team to you.."
"No! What if he finds out?"
"Then you can come to us, if you wish. If you have a pen and paper, I will tell you the address."
"Wait, let me find..oh, no!"
"My husband's back! I have to go!".
I stare at the woman holding the phone.
My wife of two years.
And this was what she is doing as soon as my back was turned
I can't believe it.
I walk up to her, and pull the phone out of her hands, ignoring her startled expression.
"Just what the hell do you think you are doing, dammit?"
PS: What can I say, except that I love cliffhangers!
Also, please scroll up for a note.
Part 2 will be up soon!
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Edited by EXPELLIARMUS - 17 January 2013 at 3:03am