It was December, the peak of winter. My mother had taken me to my Nani's place, and it was my favourite place to visit as a child. Christmas was in full swing and there were celebrations all around.
My mama took me to an exhibition where I was mesmerized by the colours and festivity. We were playing games and I was winning prizes. You can't imagine how happy I was.
On our way home, I sat in the backseat beside my mama. He was holding me and telling me how proud he was of me. I was excited to go back home and show my mom what all I had won. But it turned out that I had to carry home more than just my prizes. Something happened that day that I would carry with me for the rest of my life.
It was dark inside the car, and my mama's hand was on my back. All of a sudden, I could feel his fingers inching towards my bra line. At first, I kept telling myself that it was completely by mistake and that he didn't mean anything by it. The next thing I knew, his fingers were on my breasts. I froze. I thought he'd take his hand away, but he didn't. Instead, he said "What is this? This is so bouncy and soft!"
His hands were grabbing my entire breast. I had a lump in my throat and I couldn't speak. I was going out of my mind and I didn't know how to react. It felt as if the entire world around me had stopped. In my head, I was yelling for my mother and father. But my voice was lost, and I couldn't say anything.
Meanwhile, his palms were flat against my breasts, squeezing them hard. I wanted to shout, at least in pain. I wanted to push him away. I didn't know why I wasn't reacting. The driver couldn't see us either. I wish he'd turned back once.
I remember that all the gifts had fallen from my hands onto the seat and the floor below.
The driver asked, "Is everything good?", and I told him that all was fine, and he should drive faster. In my head, I was saying, "No! Please turn around once!", but his eyes were on the road.
It was a never-ending evening. My mama was squeezing my breasts the entire time, and eventually put his hand in my panties, with a finger rubbing hard against me. It hurt me a lot and I was trying to move, but he wouldn't let me.
My legs were too short to reach anywhere, and my tiny hands were grabbing his arms, trying to pull them back.
Once, when I tried to speak, he put his mouth on mine and pushed me back, carrying on what he was doing.
In front of the whole world, he comes across as the best person. But the way he behaved with me that day makes me hate him. I hated everything around me. It continued well into my 20s. Every time he visited me, or we visited them, I was drained. Going to my Nani's place turned into a horror.
When I was 20 years old, I got into my first relationship. My boyfriend and I worked really hard on our relationship, but I kept disappointing him and letting him down all the time. Each time we tried to be intimate, each time he tried to touch me or make love to me, there was a fire rushing through my veins. It was not the good kind.
I tried really hard, but I couldn't do it. I was unable to love him like he loved me. My love was pure, but intimacy wasn't. It wasn't fair for him. But I guess I had lost my ability even before I knew I could have it.
Five years later, my boyfriend finally gave up and said, "Try to be a little more romantic. It might help you in future," and left me. He was gone. I cursed myself and I cursed my life. I just couldn't take it. I didn't know how to tell him what I felt.
I didn't know how to explain why intimacy terrifies me. How could I tell him why I couldn't satisfy him? And so I lost the only good thing in my life, and now my existence is a sorrowful disaster, just like it always was.