Speak Up Speak Out

His face was resting on his palms, and tears were sneaking out of his long white fingers. Inside the 4 walls lavatory, he could hear the silence. Next second he sniffed and rubbed his nose with his excel sleeves and unlocked himself. He stepped out, and stood before the mirror. Which was widely covered with Red texture. "speak up speak out" he spun around and the wall spelled *SAY NO TO RAPE". He somehow managed to set up his curly dark hairs. And his watery eyes which were now brown and big. He settled his on growing moustache and walked out of the lavatory. He was tall and thin, Smith was a high school fresher student. He could see the similar words from the lavatory written on every wall of the building and could hear the high chanting of few girls. Slowly and shivering he ascended towards the basketball court, he never saw the stand this full in the school basketball matches. Few girls were on the court holding the banner of "SPEAK UP SPEAK OUT" and chanting the same words which the crowd echoed back. He felt cold and the rush of nervousness flowed in his veins. Wrestling the crowd he climbed to the top corner. Most of the crowd were filled with girls and women. Chanting and ranting about the sexual harassment. "WE WANT JUSTICE" shrieked girl on the right corner. "I SAY KILL THESE BEASTS" shouted the girl on left. A huge 'Yes' reverberated in the stands, Smith did not made a sound he sat as a fork between flowers. Next second crowd chants even louder. Smith's eyes gazed at the girl who have just crossed the threshold of the court, her hands were up gesturing to calm the crowd. She was tall and blonde. She took the mic. "Thank you for joining with us" she said. "You all know what I've been through last year". "JESSICA JESSICA JESSICE" "WE STAND BY YOU JESS". She smiled at the enthusiasm of the crowd. Smith knew she was enjoying the support she was getting, the entire crowd chanted and supported her for the HARRASMENT she faced. "Until when we keep them allowing them to touch us without our permission, we let them grab hands, they slip it somewhere else". "After I was raped, I was asked what 'I WAS WEARING'," she said smugly. "Why shouldn't they ask what my rapist was wearing"? A huge round cheer reverberated across the court. "These boys, they'll never learn until we teach them, They’ll never bow until we beat them". She announced. "Like me there are many over here who have gone with same, I offer my sympathy and support to them, to stand to speak up and speak out. Until when you keep hiding inside while they are out there bragging about what they did, there's no better time." "It was never easy to me to share my story, it wouldn't be for you too, but here, now, this is your chance, stand up, let the world know your story, it doesn't make you weak, but stronger, I stand by you to bring those monsters down, so please who ever has been through the same, I ask them to stand and express their story.” Their blood rushed through Smith's body, his heart pumped as it never before, He saw the face turns right to left, who will stand? Who will dare to stand up? Or this speech of Jessica's will go empty. This made him wonder, if he has known any of his female friends better? He saw movement from the first row and one girl stood l, followed by two girls from the second row. In the next minute a dozen girls were standing. Smith's heart started pounding, his fingers were intertwined, he wanted to leave, he kept looking at the entrance of court, he was trying to clutch his eyes from visualizing, he had second thoughts about visiting, maybe he shouldn't have come, and maybe he should have kept himself in the lavatory from the rest of the day. Next moment everything was calm, his thoughts, his body his mind. He was lost somewhere in deep thoughts that he may have missed some powerful words of Jessica. He free his eyes and allowed them to see once more. "Today you have chosen to be brave my frien- Jessica loosed the clutch of her mic as she saw a tall and thin boy with a curly hair, slowly standing with his eyes and head low. It was Smith standing in the top corner of the stands. There was an immense mumble and grumble in the crowd as one guy stood as a victim. No one looked at him as they believed in first sight. Slowly he raised his head up and was brave after a long time.

© 2020 Farhan Shaikh

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©2020 by Farhan Shaikh