Sneha Vyas

When you told me
you had a surprise planned,
I hoped it was Disneyland.
Instead, you said it was
summer at grandpa’s place
and the ten-year-old me
couldn’t be happier
as his place had no barrier
on toffees, movies, and adventure
making it the perfect summer.

so as I spent the hot and humid days
from immersing myself into the
pleasures of pottery and gardening
to diving into a pool to beat the heat,
I vividly remember thinking
this is the best summer,
and hoped every vacation to be like this -
free from Maa’s constant chatter
telling me to study my numbers
or learning the science behind a thunder,

but little did I know,
this summer would bring a night
where I would have to fight
as he would give me things
that I didn’t ask for,
yet I was forced to take it
because you weren’t there to stop it Maa;

You weren’t there when he
ran his hands up my thighs
to fulfil his highs,
while disregarding my cries.
You weren’t there when
he forced his weight
on mine where
thoughts of fear and anxiety
weren’t the only thing
that penetrated my body,
leaving every bit of me breathless
and making me feel worthless.

I resolved to tell you
about what he put me through,
but I couldn’t get myself to do it
because he told me this was
his way of showing love
and if I told anyone,
it meant I was disrespecting him
and Maa, you always said
respect your elders
so I never told anyone,

but even 10 years later
when you tell me
you’ve a surprise planned
this summer for me,
I just pray it’s not grandpa’s place.


This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's June 2020 Issue. Read the full issue here:

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar

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