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Malthi is only 11 years old and she gets the shock of her life. Read on to know what it is and how she gets help from an unexpected source!
Photo by jaikishan patel on Unsplash
Surely Malthi was dying. She was bleeding and it was down there. She leaned against the bathroom stall and her heart beat like a hundred horses galloping. How do I step out of here? What do I tell my parents? What will they hear from the teacher?
“Your 11 year old daughter bled to death in the bathroom!”
Pitiful tears streamed down Malthi’s cheeks, and leaning against the door she slowly slipped to the floor. Immediately she got up, not wanting to taint the ground or her skirt.
The school kept newspaper strips in the stalls. Is this why? Were there others who had this health issue? She felt sad and sorry for them as well and she wept some more.
It was still the fourth lesson and she had four more to go. How would she get out of here?
She turned on the tap next to the kamode and cleaned herself with the green mug. Will it stop? She sat on her haunches for a few minutes, then stuffed some newspapers and slipped her underwear back on. Her snot rolled down the tiny gap between her nostril and lip. She wiped it with the back of her hand, careful not to touch her fingers to her nose. She didn’t want the infection to spread and have a nose bleed! Whatever she had, she must’ve caught it from one of the girls. Cursing like her auto driver she sucked in her stomach, clenched tightly down there, and walked out of the bathroom to her Kannada class.
A few minutes later Malthi felt it again. She clenched her muscles but it didn’t help at all. She asked her teacher to excuse her and before she got her permission, she ran out. She bumped into somebody but didn’t wait to see who it was. With her head down, she ran crying.
Back in the stall she lifted her navy skirt and found that her underwear had started to stain. She threw out the bunched, but now wet papers, carefully, holding it with two fingers. She heard a knock on the toilet door and screamed for them to stay out. She heard a door open anyway and she had an annoyed expression. “Can’t you see the toilet is taken?” She heard a cough and a throat being cleared. It sounded….like a boy!
“Who’s there?” Answer me or I’ll thrash you with this bucket!”
She opened the door, and shut it quickly when she saw a much older boy. He was possibly a high school student.
“What are you doing in the girl’s toilet? We only have one, isn’t yours enough that you have to come here as well? Have you no shame?!”
She heard feet shuffle and he said, “I have something for you. I saw you run in here and when I turned, I saw a stain on your skirt. I went to the girls in my class and asked for a sanitary pad. My sisters use them whenever they get their periods. Remove the sticker and where it’s sticky, put it in your underwear. You’ll be able to walk and sit without any problem. Why aren’t you wearing any?”
Malthi opened the door just enough for him to pass the pad to her.
“Periods? What’s that? What do the periods of my class have anything to do with this? I’m dying you fool! Malthi whispered.
The boy chuckled but felt sorry for this scrap of a girl. “You aren’t dying silly. Your body is becoming a big girl and it’s getting ready for that. It will happen every month. Didn’t anyone tell you about this?”
“No, I had no idea. It just started today.“
“Remember today’s date. Tell your mother. It will be a big day for them. Okay, I have to get back to class too. Good bye little girl. Clean your skirt before you step out again.”
Malthi nodded and realised he couldn’t see her and thanked him loudly.
Grateful for his help and explanation, Malthi stepped out of the stall and washed her skirt. Let the children think she peed. She’s not dying!!
She walked out of the toilet awkwardly and went to class. During recess she played with her friends and had no idea that the boy watching her play from a distance had a smile on his face.
Chitra Govindraj grew up in Dubai, was educated in the US and now lives with her family in Bangalore, India. She dabbled in the corporate world as a banker and a soft skills trainer and read more...
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