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The Scream That No One Heard

Rafaa Dalvi

Everyone in the village still talked about the man who had taken the girl to the park. They had seen him stroke her hair as he unbuttoned her coat. Then they heard the little girl scream. They called the police immediately.
As the police dragged the man away, they saw nail marks on his neck. Someone took the little girl aside. That was the last she ever saw of the man. When he got out a few years later, he hung himself.

The little girl is grown up now. She sits and stares at old photos of her Gopi uncle. She thinks of that day in the park and can’t understand what all the fuss was about. Shortly after they took Gopi uncle away, she noticed how her father wouldn’t hug her when other people were around. It was as if that sort of thing was suddenly forbidden.

Today, she cannot make contact without fearing that once she makes it, they’ll take it all away, just like they took her Gopi uncle.

She still remembers how they had ran to the park, how he had opened the top button of her coat to make her more comfortable, how there was a strong breeze and she had held tight to him, inadvertently digging her nails in his neck while doing so, how he had pushed her so high on her favourite swing that she felt she was flying and had screamed with delight. It was the last happy day of her life.









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