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An Elevator Ride I Can't Forget

Sakshi Agrawal writes about a painful experience in an elevator


TW: Abuse, Sexual Assault

 

I still remember it

Like it happened yesterday. 

 

It was a Saturday night.

Wearing blue shorts and a black t-shirt

a smile lay on my face, 

as I walked back home. 

 

Reminiscing the memories of the night,

I stepped inside the elevator.

As I pressed the button to my floor,

a man enters behind me.

 

I feel his eyes going up and down.

Looking at my body 

as if it was his to have

 

I ignore his gaze

and wait to reach my floor.

The elevator dings

and I rush to get out.

 

But suddenly I feel it,

His hands clutching my stomach.

I run out screaming at him

“Stay away from me”.

 

For just a second,

the world around me stops.

I can feel the shortness in my breath.

but I can’t feel my body.

 

I suddenly get out of my daze

and hunt for my keys.

I open my apartment door

but I can sense him

standing right behind me.

 

I run inside and

push the door on his face. 

Latching it from inside,

I sit on the floor.

I can hear him outside

banging the door.

I sit with hands on my ear

waiting for the nightmare to stop.

 

After what feels like eternity

I hear his footsteps receding

I wait and wait

till there is complete silence.

 

And slowly 

my tears start to flow.

I feel numb 

and I sit there wondering

what had gone wrong?

 

I cry my heart out.

And finally

I get myself off the floor.

 

I walk towards the shower

rip my clothes off

and let the water take over.

 

I just stand there 

hoping the water 

will take the dirt off.

But it stays there

and refuses to leave.

 

I look in the mirror 

my eyes are red

I start to wonder

what will people say and think.

 

Then, I take a vow

to keep it a secret.

 

It has been four years. 

Elevators are still my fear

I still think twice

before going out. 

 

But,

the vow has been kept strong.

Because I remember it

like it happened yesterday. 

 

Main artwork produced by South Asian Today's designer, Nikita Ann, @nikitaann97

About the author

Originally from Nepal, Sakshi is a recent graduate of Masters of Journalism from the University of Melbourne. Instagram: @sakshireports 

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