It was the last week of September , a windy Friday evening when my doorbell rang and as usual I opened my eyes bulging in my pyjamas to open the door for Lenti. As this was going to be the last year of my studies there were excitement, anxiety and a lot of pressure too. But as usual, with Lenti life was smooth.
Lenti was my Best friend and my soulmate from growing up together in a small village we always had bigger dreams together.So after our graduation we moved to another city for our higher degrees. She had an interest in becoming a lawyer and I always wanted to be professor in English so we got admitted in different Universities and lived aloof from each other. But living in the same city we always hook up every last week of Friday evenings.
As I got up to open the door, my heart felt heavy and something wasn’t seeming right cause usually Lenti would scream my name slamming the door until I opened for her. So I was lost for a second, until I opened the door and saw a stranger lady standing with a saturnine face which gave me a hint that bad news is here now.
Before I could say anything, she said “Hi are you Akie?
I responded “yes, may I help you?”
She took a deep breath,sighed and uttered “your friend Lenti is no more”.She was found dead this morning and it said she took a poison to end her life.We found that she left a note written with your name with this address so we’re here to hand it over.
For a moment I felt like the world collapsed. I’ve felt hopeless a lot of times in life but the feeling of hopelessness at that moment wasn’t normal. My heart fainted for a while and mix feelings was running through my body.
I tried to talk to her cause I had in mind many questions but as I received the note from her hand, I was almost breaking into tears and could hardly breathe.
I suddenly recalled a moment with Lenti, a Saturday night outing with some of her roomates. It was a night where the moon was bright and the wind breeze added the complete flavour for all of us to have a blast. But Lenti seemed quite disturbed though everyone in the circle were having their best nights one could imagine. Some friends came along with their lovers and the environment was warm enough to lighten anyone’s mood. Yet, Lenti was of course single and her mood wasn’t similar as the one I knew before. She sat alone with a glass of lime juice staring at the glass for long. I took a notice of it but when I tried to move towards her we had to rush inside the Hall cause it started to drizzle. Soon after, we left for home in different cars so I could not get to her. The next day it was out of my mind and I lost track of thought without asking if she was fine. She did tell me once about her excitement to go back home after several years but I just expected it to be a normal thing for anyone who’s been away from home for long. I was Unbothered and it went very casual in my thoughts.
Moment after moment, as I kept opening the note which seemed to me like a thorn trying to pierce me to death I finally unfolded and it Read;
” Dear Akie,
My world’s Best friend from young to old.
The world to me was blissful because of a soul like you. I remember those days when we only had few toys with us so we planned to become rich just to get more toys for ourselves. It was silly as I think of it but indeed helped us to work harder and life has brought us till here.
There were lot of things you did for me and I know I’ll never find a soul like you to replace it even in the second life. Moving into this city had always been our dreams and I’m so proud that you’re nearing to become the woman you always wanted to be.
I am leaving this note so you don’t have to cry for me.
I know, as a Best friend you’ve always been there for me in all the bad and good times. So I could not bother you anymore. Please don’t be mad for letting you know this only when I’m gone. But I’m doing this so you’ll be aware of life’s realities and remain strong and be a hand in need to someone someday.
Things changed after coming here, my University gave me knowledge which prepared me to be a lawyer that I always wanted. Yet, I never thought life could have many more mysterious corners. You always complained why I always have to leave earlier to class without my roomates and we barely talk on weekdays. The reason was this…I was always called by our professor early morning before class starts so that he could molest me.
In the beginning, he said I needed to work harder than others so he gave me an option to have prior private class with him every morning. I was unaware of his evil intentions so I took a step and fell in his trick that slowly he began to rule over my body. When I tried to run away, he always said he’ll reject my presentations and would do anything to get me out of the University. I couldn’t afford to give up my studies because I know how my family was looking upon me with big expectations by sacrificing all of their assets.
It’s been years I’ve been fighting over this and now I’m tired of myself. Everytime I sat in his lectures I felt like world to me was a prison and nothing more.
I gradually became ill and depressed and took a lot of antidepressants to cure but nothing could help.
So I’m finally giving up my dream here. Please be strong and achieve your dream though I’ll not be there in your celebration. And remember to always take care of yourself.
Tell my family that I’m sorry for not being able to hold up.
Finally, I’m stopping here wishing you success.
Good bye Akie.
Your Best friend, Lenti. “
After I finished reading the note, I thought of leaving this world too.I could not imagine life without Lenti. She was my world in one way. I cried in agony and the lady along with some other people came in to comfort me.
Her family came and took her body and she was buried in our village. I couldn’t go because exam was near and travelling was problem.
For days, I could neither eat nor sleep only lost in thinking how could that happen. And I was glad that finally the accused was found and was sentenced to prison. But one life was gone and it was too late to bring back.
I blamed myself sometimes for not asking anything about the issue. I took half fault of losing her. Finally, I completed my studies and left for home.
Days, months went by and I visited her graveyard after I went home. As I went to meet family they couldn’t stand seeing me because they always thought Lenti and I were never going to depart from each other. They saw us growing, playing together , studying and moving everywhere together. I could see their pain though they welcomed me warmly.
As I entered her room I saw her collection of toys which broke my heart into tears. I remained there for some minutes and wishing them goodbye I left home.
One year passed and I was already a professor as I wanted. But I wasn’t happy with my achievement because Lenti was missing in my life.
Two years passed, and I was slowly losing myself with the thought that if I could bring her back.
It was my two years of being a respected professor but life seemed so dark and I wasn’t even ready to get married.
My family tried their best to help me get out of it but it didn’t help enough. One day while I was holding a mug of coffee trying to prepare myself for the upcoming lectures my mom came in my room. She looked sad seeing how my health was deteriorating day by day. Then she said ” Akie, I know that right now you feel like half of your world is gone and no words can ever heal the gap that’s left but I want you to forget yourself once for a moment and think of Lenti. Just think if she was here what she’d want you to do. She’ll never want to see you this way. It’s true you’ve lost someone whom you can never replace in life and you blame partially for it too. But there is life still in your hands. Why don’t you become that one person who addresses this issue to the people, make people aware of the dirty deeds of those people who tries to victimize weaker people. Let people know and make them aware that this could cost someone’s life, someone’s daughter, someone’s best friend.
After she said those words, a whole new of me evolved. I realized then, that there’s still something I can do. I hugged my mom in tears of happiness cause a revolution was taking place in my head.
So all of these happened nine years ago.
Today, I’m standing for my Best friend and for everyone who has been a victim of evil-minded individuals trying to ruin the lives of many dreamers. It may be in schools, universities, colleges, hostels or in the workplaces or any offices. Not everyone, but if there is anyone being a victim of those unseen masked heads or bosses or anyone it could be I firmly and strongly urge you to stand up for it. When you stand up for yourself you’re not only saving your life, you are saving those whose lives are lost in depression because of it. Molestation gradually leads to depression upon the victim which is not visible but today, your one voice can make a lot of remarkable and significant changes. This world would become a safer place to reside in.
Therefore, as I conclude my speech I urge every individual in this Hall gathered for the Awareness seminar on ” Unaddressed Topic: Molestation and Depression “, we may not bring back the lost lives but you and I can save by raising our voices.
Let us do so, don’t think it is just a topic but keep ourselves reminded that it needs to be addressed in today’s generation without a pause.