मीत - Part 5

“It was the best moment of my life. The kiss melted me into his arms. And as I hugged him, he winced. I finally looked at his face, which was lit up from the fireworks display that had begun, and I noticed tears in his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

He remained silent.

I was unable to contain my curiosity and finally said the words that were rolling in my head for the past many days, “I’m here for you, Meet. I can see the scars that you try to hide, I know there is pain. But you need to tell me so I can help you.”

He looked at me, tears now brimming. He was unable to form the words. I gently tug him back inside the room, sit him in the chair and pass him a bottle of water, which he holds onto tight.

“I was better off in Mumbai,” he whispered. “Life was better in my orphanage than it is here.”

At first I deduced it was the change in place and people that bothered him so much, but what he revealed next shook me. He raised his shirt to show me scars and fresh cuts all over his body, and they spoke for themselves.

His father, who had adopted him just a few months back, had a drinking problem and would regularly beat him up for little mistakes. The bullying didn’t just pertain to school, it continued at home too.

“You are the only person who considers me human,” he said.

I cried and gave him a hug.”

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