I was pushed from the slowly moving car at approximately 5:30 in the morning. He had been driving with my torn body in the passenger seat for what felt like hours. Slowly muttering to himself in a language that I could no longer understand. The trail of blood that ran down my chest - my legs - grew still as my nose occasionally dripped, and I dabbed at the ache with the sleeve of my jacket. The clothes underneath told another story, and I wound that coat around. For the warmth and for the comfort my own arms contained.
My throat was dry and parched from several hours of screaming at and for no one. Until I lost my voice, and there was just the desire to scream - the frustration that comes with unwanted silence. Leaving only the methodical - thump, thump, thump - of the table hitting the wall. Of my thighs hitting the table.cracking under feet. The occasional fist into skin.
Caked with blood and barely able to see beneath my two black eyes, I hit the pavement. He only used one huge hand to set me free. It rained, and I remained in the street with an open mouth - felt the cuts on my lips split as each drop fell down. Kept my eyes open as long as I could. The world was suddenly covered in Vaseline.
It took another hour to figure out what to do. Wandering the semi-light downtown streets with the junkies, pushers, and whores. Without money or identification. Waited for a bus, but the driver took one look at me and wouldn't let me on without the fare. The air from the door stung when he closed it in my face. I did not yet know what I looked like. Commuters were already filing in. And I stood in front of humiliated, begging for change to make a phone call. One woman stopped, finally, to give me a rupee. She looked sad as she passed it into my palm. As if she knew something I didn't. Get off the streets, she muttered while turning to walk away. She didn't look back.
I called him then. Had to wake him up. Barely audible through the downtown traffic and straining to use my abused vocal chords. I'm fucking in trouble, I whispered. And that was enough. He arrived around 7:00 am. The immediate reaction was simple. Horrified. Things must be worse than I even imagined. He didn't take any measures to hide it, and the fifteen minutes it took to get back to his house were filled with questions that I would never completely answer -- What the fuck happened to you? -- What the hell is going on? He was hysterical and sobbing.
He spent the next few weeks clinging to my bruises. Holding me upright in the shower. Applying peroxides and creams. Bandages and medications. Holding me together. It was during those days that I forgot how to speak. When I began to rely on my hands. Realized the safety of silence.