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Too Late

She was sitting before me and her hands were resting on the desk. Her hair, long and wavy, cascaded down to her back in a gentle aura.

“It’s positive,” the words finally squeezed out through my throat.

She slouched on the chair and held her chest as though she was keeping her heart from falling. The news of her test result hit her like a pack of bricks. The air around us was cozy, but that didn’t stop the sweat from gathering in her face. Her breathing rhythm changed with her face turning ashen.

My head dropped in disappointment. It was not my first time of disclosing such kind of result to my patients, but she was sixteen years old.

“Do you know the man responsible?” I asked, a pen dancing in-between fingers as I tried to appear less serious.

She nodded. “Yes.”

“Who is he to you?”

With all the boldness in the world, she looked into my eyes and said, “He is a doctor friend of mine.” Her guttural voice made me bit my lip.

How could she not feel shy or something?

“How old do you think he could be?”

“He will be in his early thirties.”

I tried to internalize her argument by shutting my eyes. She was befriending a man who had lived three decades of his life. I shook my head in disbelief.

“Do you think he knows?”

“No.”

“Will you tell him?”

The skin of her face folded into a frown and her eyes burned with rage. She shook her head, “His cheap lying guts will never see the next breaking of dawn for the deception.”

“But didn’t you think that you were too young to date a man of his caliber?”

She gazed into my face and balls of tears began to roll down her cheeks. She sniffed into a white handkerchief before she buried her face into her palms.

Moments of silence rose and slipped through. She lifted her gaze and started, “He was caring and loving at first. He made me believe that his love for me was genuine and purely platonic. He had wheedled made into sleeping over at his house on many occasions and nothing happened.”

I remembered wanting to pause her at that point so she could explain that phrase, “…and nothing happened.” Perhaps, she had expected something serious to happen. But my question was, “Was she ready to stand and face whatever thing she had expected to happen?”

Anyways, I didn’t stop here because she might change her mind and wouldn’t like to share her story.

She continued, “Then came the night he woke me up from sleep. Sweat was glistening all over his body against the fluorescent bulb. He was on all four on the squashy mattress, crawling into my body. My tiny arms tried but failed to hold him back. His turgid monstrosity grazing and tinkling my belly as he took charge of my body. Reasons as to why I shouldn’t shout thronged my head and none could match the fact that I walked into his bed with my full consent. My head that was hanging in defeat some moments ago then collapsed in total submission. He had assured me that he would go gently and that there won’t be such cases of unwanted pregnancy since he has watery sperm. He was a doctor and I believed him. I believed that watery sperm should posess no viable spermatozoa. I believed that he was incabale of impregnanting even the most fertile of all women on earth.”

Wait? Was I under a spell?

How could I let her go after such an ugly story? How could I not see the rage in her eyes? How could I not pick that line from her?

“His cheap lying guts will never see the next breaking of dawn for the deception.”

How could I not ring a psychiatrist helpline or the police?

When I rushed outside to the balcony, she was gone. There was no trace of her footsteps. Even her shadow had been drowned by the sea of heads moving down the street.

And now as I stared down on the dailytimes magazine in my hands. A stream of hot guilt rushed up to my throat. Not because my fingers were tracing the gory picture of her and the doctor friend, both bodies stabbed beyond recognition and a crimson stainless steel knife lying on the floor. But because I didn’t try to stop her.

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