Eyes still groggy with a certain kind of heaviness that sleep brings forth, I try to wrench them open and face the morning light. Once the curtains are drawn, the dust mites shine in the stark light of the day.
Of late, I haven’t been in my element. The feeling is surreal... like stepping out of my own skin and gazing at myself from afar.
I turn over in bed and reach for the bedside-table. I check to make sure the pepper spray is placed where I had left it last evening.
I get out of bed and stretch my arms.
There is a bracelet donning my left wrist. Slick and minimal, it would seem like a regular bracelet to the uninitiated. But there’s a catch – it lets out a ‘nightmarish’ smell when activated, thus warding off assaulters. I had wondered for a second, before buying it on Amazon, what the smell would mean for my senses. Wouldn’t it be equally ‘nightmarish’? But then again, it is probably easier to ask me to spend some bucks on self-defence than it is to ask those around... to stop assaulting.
Now that I am out of bed, I know there is no time left to waste. I must put my game face on and gear up for the day ahead.
As I dress up for the day, I rummage through my drawer, fish out a black leather jacket, and let my gaze linger on it wistfully before putting it on. It is an anti-molestation jacket that discharges a shock of 110 volts when activated, thus incapacitating the assaulter.
‘Emancipation' has always been a shaky terrain. By now, I know that it has never been for keeps. The odds of it being taken away are always high. Especially when I am walking down the road by myself. The feeling that my make-believe fortress around me will come crashing down before my eyes, and the clothes, covering the very midriff I was asked not to expose, will be yanked off of me, haunts me quite often.
But it is getting late now. I need to get to work.
While I potter about the household looking for things, I make a mental note every time I find one, and then check them off my list.
I have a pepper spray hidden in a not-so-ordinary jacket.
A tiny pen knife tucked vertically in my shoes.
A hairbrush in my handbag that doubles up as a dagger.
A stun-gun in my hand that looks like an old worn-out Nokia phone.
And ‘anti-rape underwear’ that I never forget to put on before leaving the house.
Before I exit the doorway, I catch a quick glimpse of my reflection in the mirror and hesitate for a second....
‘’Times up?’’ she whispers to herself.
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