Since it was a peak hour traffic was unbearable. FM radio station announced heavy traffic for the stretch of next one kms. I used the time to keep tabs at what everyone at home is doing. Husband will be late from work. Rahul is in his badminton practice and Reena is at home. Offlate Reena has become more withdrawn..hubby concluded it’s onset of teenage hormones. She is just 11. When I reached home I could see our cook was preparing the dinner. She smiled at me. Every evening we have this ritual of sitting in balcony to have a hot cup of tea. She will tell me about the neighbourhood gossips and crib about her useless husband. That evening she prepared tea for three of us including Reena. It took me some effort to bring Reena to balcony. I asked her about the school and she said it’s fine. I asked her about friends and she replied it’s fine too. Reena was the first to finish tea and was ready to go back to her room. ‘Good girls wait for others..’ my maid said. ‘Well..I’m a bad girl.’ Reena replied with a glaze in her eyes and went to her room. ‘Are you okay?’ my cook asked me and was alarmed to see sudden sweat in my forehead. My mother was a college lecturer and due to non- availability of day cares that time I spent my time after school in neighbour aunty house. They had a girl of my age Lakshmi and an elder son. I and Lakshmi used to play till my mother returns back. One day when I reached their house I found Lakshmi and her mom had gone out. I haven’t spoken much with Lakshmi’s elder brother but he asked me to come inside and offered me juice. I was doing my homework silently when his hand touched my thighs. I looked at him and he removed his hand. After few minutes his hand touched my .. .. forcefully and I didn’t know what to do. I begged him to stop but he said it was fun and asked me not to shout. When he tried to remove my dress I screamed loudly and thankfully that time bell rang. ‘Who screamed?’ Lakshmi’s mother asked. He pointed to me saying I screamed seeing a cockroach. ‘My god..I was alarmed..’ Lakshmi’s mother said. ‘Me too.. She is a bad girl..screaming at nothing’ her brother said. He gave me a look which silenced me. I was feeling ashamed. I was speechless for some minutes. Her mother went inside the kitchen and Lakshmi asked me something for which I replied ‘Well, I’m a bad girl.’ I avoided going to Lakshmi’s house post that in the pretext of going to tuition and was scared her brother will tell others what happened. It was years later I realized I was sexually abused by her brother and I didn’t do anything wrong. When Reena uttered those words it brought back those dreaded memories. I went inside Reena’s room and forcefully took her out for icecream. Over icecream I told her the incident. Reena silently heard me. Her eyes avoided me. I asked whether she wanted another ice-cream and she nodded her head. As I was walking back to our table Reena was sitting with a strange expression. Knowing my daughter I know she is going to tell me what is troubling her.