“Can I come in?” Sandhya timidly knocked at the door.
“Yes please.” a sweet voice replied from the other end.
Sandhya entered the room and sat on a chair placed opposite Renuka.
“Hello, Sandhya. How can I help you?” Renuka smiled reassuringly.
“My daughter Priya is eleven and from the last few days, she has been behaving differently, not talking to anyone, unwilling to go to school, not even eating properly. I have tried talking to her but in vain. I even asked her friends and teachers hoping they would know something but nobody has a clue. My husband is also very despondent. We don’t know how to deal with her. Please help us, ma’am.” Sandhya explained with tears brimming her eyes.
Renuka calmed Sandhya and suggested that she bring Priya to her the next day.
Renuka was a renowned therapist. She was known to work magic with children and Sandhya hoped she would manage to do the same with her daughter.
The next day, Sandhya reached Renuka’s chamber with reluctant Priya.
“Hello Priya, I’m Renuka. How are you? Your mom was saying that you seem different these days.” Renuka handed candy to Priya.
Priya was nervous and did not reply nor did she take the candy.
Renuka requested Sandhya to leave the room so that she can talk to Priya alone.
Sandhya got up to leave. Priya too jumped up wanting to leave.
Renuka however insisted that she sit for some time. Renuka graciously said “Look Priya, I’m here to help you. Your parents are in anguish. They love you so much and when they see you in pain they are also saddened. They want to help you but for that, they need your help, you have to tell us what is bothering you.”
Tears rolled down Priya’s eyes and she started crying like a baby. She started speaking incoherently in between her sobs. Renuka handed her tissues and a glass of water to help her calm down. She then asked her to explain everything from the beginning.
“My mom and my teacher have told me about good and bad touches. I felt that bad touch at school. He is a senior. We were friends, he used to give me chocolates, ice creams, etc. That day, he started touching my private parts and forced me to touch him and kiss him. I– I did not like it.” Priya began crying again. Renuka helped her calm down. She made her assistant take Priya out and bring in Sandhya.
Renuka told Sandhya that Priya was deeply affected due to molestation in her school. As she recounted Priya’s ordeal. Tears rolled down Sandhya’s eyes.
“Don’t worry Sandhya, Priya will be fine after a few sessions with me,” Renuka assured her.
Strict action was taken against that senior.
Priya had regular sittings with Renuka. With time, Priya started to get better. She did not entirely forget the incident, but she did move on and began living her life again.
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