Today feels normal but it was not always like this. There were times when I would kill for this feeling, this feeling of being normal. To feel like a child. I never had a lot of friends, I always thought that I would be the one to wind up with nobody to rely on but myself. However, today I take a look around and I see friends, friends that have become family. Parvati, Gracie, and VJ were once strangers to me, but, they are now my closest friends. They know everything about me and accept me for who I am.
As I started hanging out more and more with Gracie and her film star friend; VJ Patel, I realized that something was wrong with my friend Parvati. She had been my friend for the longest time. She was a 14-year-old girl, a beggar. To earn a little extra, I usually went to help her on the streets. We were very close, but now I can never seem to find her. So one day, after tracing her down, I finally asked what was wrong, she told me everything, Suresh was raping her. From that day on, bearing the trauma I got to her as quickly as I could. Every day after school, I would try my best to get to her, be with her. The days where I couldn’t find her, I knew he had gotten to her first. Then today the police came asking about her. They said they wanted to arrest her. I was terrified. I told them they should not do that. After all, she is a little troubled, she is getting raped. I told them Suresh raped her. Little did I know what they told me next. They said he was found dead, and Parvati was the prime suspect in their murder investigation. I kept telling them that she was a victim and there was no way she killed Suresh. They didn’t believe they said they would arrest me, but VJ’s parents stood by me. Then I said I could prove it. I told them everything. About me, about the brothel, about Binta ma’am and underage minors forced to do sex work. So the police raided the facility. They took everyone. They let everyone who wasn’t a minor go. I could not be more terrified in my life. My mom got out too. The police did not keep her in a cage, the way an Aunty told me they would. I wonder what has happened to Parvati. If she will return.
As I sit in this new house, and I write about this life I had, I feel like an alien in my skin. The weak girl who would once cry and get hurt by little things is gone, I left her behind a long time ago. As I look in the mirror, all I see is this brave girl with no fears and her whole life ahead of her. A girl who has friends, who isn’t afraid of what is to come. I see, “The New Me!”
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