The Dark Secret [#ShortStory]

Every night she would sadly leave her mother’s lap to let a new man enter the room. Young, old, fat, dark, she witnessed all sorts of men intruding her house.

Little Tania was playing with her mother when she heard a knock at the door. She knew it was her time to leave the room.

She lived with her mother in a small dark room which had a bed, a few utensils and her toys. She opened the old tin door that made a screechy noise and stepped aside. A middle-aged man in an inebriated condition entered as she walked out silently with her doll.

By now she was used to it. She would wait patiently in the veranda for the door to open. Her mother made a small arrangement in the veranda for Tania. A canopy with her toys and some snacks. Sometimes she would also fall asleep there.

She was too young to understand what was going on. She was told not to disturb when her mother was working and she obeyed completely.

Every night she would sadly leave her mother’s lap to let a new man enter the room. Young, old, fat, dark, she witnessed all sorts of men intruding her house. Sometimes some would offer her a chocolate and she would happily move to her tiny abode to let her mother do her work.

Yes, her mother was a sex worker. Tania got an idea of it in her adolescence and she started hating her mother to the core. She couldn’t come out of the hatred and shock for a few years.

By now her mother made enough money to move to a better place. Here Tania had her own room and she would always keep herself locked in it. Her mother purposely moved to a nicer place so that Tania could grow up in a civilized society.

She wanted to keep Tania away from the glare so now she mostly met her clients in hotels. She would entertain her clients at home only during day time when Tania went to school. All her hard work was paid off when Tania came out with flying colors in her school.

It was in her college days that she learnt more about prostitution, escorts and sex workers. She was shocked to see some of her batch mates also spending nights at hotels just for fun.

It was for the first time in all these years she asked her mother what made her enter this dark world.

It all started when she gave birth to a girl child. She was left to die in the streets with her baby girl. She was saved by the nearby ragpickers. There she got to know about this highly paid job. Her only motive was to earn huge amount of money so that she could give the best of everything to Tania.

Initially, it was very difficult, she cried at her fate all the time. But when she started getting paid the amount she asked for she was determined to continue.

Tania cried inconsolably hearing the struggle her mother had gone through. She asked her to stop doing it immediately. She cursed herself for being a girl child and bring so much sorrow in her mother’s life.

When she stopped crying and cursing, her mother held her hands and made her swear on her not to reveal it to anyone about her mother’s profession. She knew if this dark secret is revealed her daughter would not be able to lead a dignified life.

Tania could not sleep that night. She kept tossing in her bed thinking what all her mother must have gone through.

It was because of sex she was alive. Sex paid for her education. Sex was the reason she had to never sleep empty stomach. Sex paid for her clothes, books and toys but she has to bury this secret deep in her heart for the rest of her life because sex still remains a taboo.

Image source: By Biswarup Ganguly (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, for representational purposes only.

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