Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Lucky By Kate Monaghan

Soni Kaur was one of those lucky girls, of course. You’d have to be an idiot not to realise – she displayed all the classic tell-tale signs of prosperity and felicity, from having a sudden out of the blue desire to donate all the skin-tight crop tops, miniskirts and high heels that had made up her wardrobe and hide behind billowing jumpers and loose-fitting sweatpants, to jumping a mile in the air every time someone touched her and taking up as little space as she could.

And everyone said it. Everyone she had spoken to, no one less than a year after it had happened, had referred to her or her case as fortunate in some shape or form. There was the well-meaning, including the likes of “Thank God he at least had the wit to use protection,” spat by her best friend after a rare pause for breath in one of her usual lengthy and angry monologues.

Most had good intentions but offered comfort which was ultimately sour, many along the lines of “Well, it’s a good thing you weren’t hurt badly.” If a constant and ineffable fear, along with more than a little trauma and quite a few physical injuries thrown into the mix, wasn’t being hurt badly, Soni didn’t want to know what was.

He had contributed his two cents as well, of course. “Don’t you know how many girls would kill to take your place?” was a real kicker, hissed during one lunch break once the word had gotten out. His friends, joined by most of their year and a handful of the other forms too, added the odd heckle or shout, but he did the main work – his 6’2 towering over her 5’6 and his face so close to hers that she could almost taste his bitter aftershave and sugary breath, far too familiar despite the absence of alcohol.

What hurt most of all was the girls who shrugged and took the sides of the boys; not even deigning to lower their voices when she walked into the room and was bombarded with gossip and insults. She didn’t even care to point out that most of what they were giggling about wasn’t even close to the truth. She didn’t even care to mention that they were laughing about something serious for the sake of attention. She didn’t even care.

Anyway she should’ve known that good girls obey the rules drummed into them for as long as they could remember - don’t drink too much, but drink enough. Don’t trust him, but do what he says. Don’t smile, but be fun. Don’t do anything that could land you in trouble, but make sure you’re mysterious and engaging enough, because for Gods’ sakes, everyone knows that if anything happens, you’re asking for it.

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