Words of Kindness (Short story for critique)

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    “Our words, offered in kindness, can be the music that lifts a heart and makes the journey worth coming on.”

    This Thursday story is a work of fiction. A large portion of this story expresses some of the horrors of being a victim of rape. The depression is a reflection of some of my personal experience with attempted suicide. It is time to talk about both.

    “I would like to tell the whole story of how I met my now, husband, if you don’t mind.” The pretty bride said to her honoured guests. Most of the room fell silent with a few people chatting quietly to each other.

    “The day I met Jim was the day he saved my life. I have never told anyone about this before now, but it is important to understand the true character of the man beside me today.” Her audience was now captive. Why would she not tell anyone about almost dying?

    “As most of you know, I have been victim to some of the worst kinds of people this world has to offer. The first time I was raped I never truly got over it, no one does if your seven when it happens.” gasps and whispers begin throughout the stunned audience. I am sure they believed that this is not something that should be discussed at a wedding.

    “I learned to not live in fear and that just because I had been a victim, it did not mean I had to BE a victim. My psychologist and my parents taught me that.” I paused for effect and a few members pipe up saying how right she was.

    “Then came grade 10, my first real boyfriend. I thought I was in love, it turns out I was just an object. One night I came home bruised and bleeding and my brother greeted me at the door. My brother beat out an agreement with the boy but I was once again a victim. I never saw him again but thank you for that Daniel.” awe struck every member of the audience.

    “In university things did not improve. I was repeatedly raped by a boy at the dorm in my own bed. At this point I just let it happen. Clearly this is what I was meant for and I was just going to have to live with it.” Many women in the audience begin to cry.

    “For two years after university I went from one abusive relationship to another. There was no reprive and it became obvious that my life was meant to be this way. I began to walk a thorny path. I sought to find my way to the path I knew was right but it hurt to much to go so further down I went. You might say I was circling the drain, waiting to be flushed.”

    “One fateful day I decided that this was it, I would not live like this anymore. I went to the train station, put my purse on the walkway and stepped to the edge. The train would make this quick and there was no risk of long term injury. In my heart of hearts I just wanted the pain to end once and for all. This was not about being selfish, it was about being freed from a prison that had only this way out.”

    “The world pulled in and all there was for me was the drop ahead of me. Peace was going to be mine at last. Finally I could be free from the shackles of abuse; But, instead of the train I was waiting for and had carefully chosen, I heard a voice. It was like my life was calling me back with someone else to hurt me and I almost ignored it.”

    “A hand gently touched my shoulder and asked me if I dropped my purse. I could barely understand him. Was there someone actually being kind to me? That day he showed me that there was someone who could be kind, so I married him today.” The crowd stood still for a moment unsure how to react. I turned to face my husband who also heard this story for the first time. Tears streaming down his face he leaps at me and embraces me fully. The kind of hug I always dreamt of having some day. Everyone in the crowd lights up with applause and cheering.

    That day my man knew the kind of hero he really is and all it took was a simple act of kindness.

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