I was an experienced 10-year old

On a diet of wisdom by old men, of old men

And above all, through my old man.

Our Sundays were about tea, talk and think

Conversation flowed as if time on holiday.

 

On one such day,

I saw my heavy-set father

Crouched between earmarked books

With centrefolds spilling into the bed,

His mirthful eyes, hesitant,

The lines on his forehead, deep with age, coerced.

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He brought out diagrams –

Uterus, tubes, eggs.

Eggs breaking,

Eggs floating,

Blood flowing.

 

He said –

Your body is going to change.

At some chosen hour

Your vagina will pass blood

For few days,

Every month.

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He said –

It’s not that scary

It may hurt and you may be sore

But it’s harmless

Like a bump that appears when you hurt yourself.

 

He said –

It’s a gift really.

It will allow you to have children and a family.

It will allow you to become a woman.

 

He held my little hand,

Enveloped me in his arms

While I cowered in my safe space

Lining his shoulder with soft sobs.

He looked at me with his worried eyes

And said –

It’s going to be okay.

 

And I nodded

Of course, it’s going to be okay.

When I will have my period,

I will collect the blood

And give it to those who need it

And then

I will become a woman.

 

2Author- Zainab Kakal

Zainab Kakal reads for pleasure, loves long walks and enjoys a good cup of tea. She writes at A Thought Experiment.

Edited by – Divya Rosaline
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