Posted in Short Stories...

What would you have done?

Laxmi was a mystery to me. My best employee, most honest and punctual person I knew. For 10 years she was my employee.

One day she suddenly came and said she had to quit. I was shocked. I asked her why. She didn’t reply. I insisted that she reply to me. But she just looked down and kept quiet. For about half an hour I kept asking her about the reason but she didn’t say anything.
Suddenly she collapsed. I took her to hospital.

“Who hit her?” said the Inspector. “I have no idea.” “But you brought her to hospital, you should know.” “She just works for me.” “This is not the first time she is here”, said the doctor. “I don’t know anything about this”, said I. “How many years has she worked for you?” “About 10 years now. She had come to give me her resignation letter when she collapsed and I got her to the hospital.” I was let go by the cops. Confused, I went back to the office and tried to find about Laxmi’s personal life. I had never bothered. “She stays with her husband, in-laws and has a girl of 14”, volunteered Sheetal, her teammate. “That’s all we know.”

I called up my wife and told her what had happened. My main question was if I should get involved in this or not. It is after all not my problem. She encouraged me to pursue the matter. “What would you have done if she was your sister”, asked my wife.

In the evening, I went back to the hospital to inquire about Laxmi’s health and found out that she had checked out of the hospital. On inquiring further, the doctor said that they had called up her husband and he took her away after all the checks were done. I further confirmed with the doctor about the possibility of physical abuse and he said,”I cannot do anything in such cases if the patient insists that there is nothing.” “But doctor, isn’t it our moral duty to report something like this to the cops.” “I agree, I had done my duty, but you know when the police came to ask questions to her she only shook her head and refuted all the charges. She said she fell down the stairs and got those bruises. The system cannot do anything if the victim isn’t willing to say anything.”

Why do women not complain about such things? Laxmi was independent, earning well. The law would have been on her side. Then what was wrong?

I went to Laxmi’s house to talk to her. But she wasn’t there. The house was locked. I went again the next day but found out they had left the city to never return.

It’s been 5 years. I really don’t know where she is now, but I wish I could have helped her in some way. I wish she had the courage to walk out of the marriage.

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4 thoughts on “What would you have done?

  1. It’s such a harsh reality that so many people live with every day. Giving voice to the silent destructive nature of abuse is what should be done. You’ve stirred my emotions with your writing, thank you.

    Like

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