Where Are We Safe?

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He tiptoed into my room and embraced me in his arms. I felt uneasy but kept smiling weakly since I was taught to be pleasant around the people whom my parents welcomed home.

I didn’t like the way he would hold me on his ‘surprise’ visits, his touch would make me shiver. His affection disgusted me, his presence would make me sick.

Every time I heard of him visiting us, I’d hide in my closet, under the bed, behind the door, anywhere I could.

Perhaps he looked at it as some game, like hide and seek; he’d ask my parents to excuse him and would start searching for me.

If it was a mere game, I surely knew I was the loser. He’d find me every time and take me in his arms. He won. Always.

My eyes dreaded his devilish grin.

My mind was filled with emotions I couldn’t understand.

Fear, disgust, confusion made life a little more miserable than it already was. As a child, I was always taught to stay away from strangers. I was warned of the dangers I might encounter if I let strangers come near me.

My parents imagined me to be safe since I would never roam outside without adult supervision.

What nobody thought was that monsters reside in “safe places” too.

The possible dangers I would face inside the four walls of my own home were ignored by my protectors as they believed that I was riskless under their roof.

Growing up, I felt I could still protect myself from the evil outside but I never found the guts to save myself from the faces that I encountered in my own home; for they received divine treatment from the people who thought I was guarded and protected under their eyes.