“Oh come on Meera, Don’t behave like you are not aware of how the system works,” said James with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
I was tongue-tide again, it was not for the first time my work was subsided and my competitor, Rahul’s work was approved just because Rahul was male and our dear Manager James think if women will be given more appreciation then it is like going against the inane rules of this society.
I capitulated without thinking even for a second, it was better to remain silent as if anyone raised their voice then they will be directly thrown out of this company with no ifs and buts. The biggest con’s of being a middle class is remain silent and scared, if you raised your voice, then your job will be gone on one side, your respect which you have earned with so much hard work will also be gone with a blink of an eye! Without meeting James unfaltering gaze which was not at all guilty, I decide to go back to my desk!
“What does this big-brown eyed, short-haired, round face with full of wrinkles think of himself?” I groaned on my way back to the exit gate.
The moment I was about to turn the metal knob, James voice stopped me in my tracks. For a moment I thought it was all a prank that James was pulling off at my expense and just maybe this time my presentation was indeed accepted, after all I have spent one month in preparing it, collecting all the facts, putting them together was not less than a tedious task!
I turned and tried to put a straight face, I didn’t want to be happy without any reason and was looking for a positive response just this one time.
James got up from his Black revolving chair, hands in his pockets, eyes looked a little suspicious. He opened the front button of his gray color jacket underneath was white crisp shit with black buttons, paired it with a dark gray tie. He wasn’t that old and according to his age, he looked fine and to be exact being in his late thirties he looked attractive enough.
“Oh my dear Meera! You gave up just so easily, aren’t you going to put up a fight?” He asked as he approached towards me with a smile on his face which surely didn’t reach his eyes.
For some reason I was worried about his query, I wasn’t expecting this coming after all! He has never talked to me like this and what kind of fight he is talking about, nobody can argue with him once he has taken his decision, its final!
“What are you talking about?” I asked and my throat suddenly became parched, my palms became sweaty and my forehead started sweating given the fact that the air conditioner was working just fine.
“Meera, Meera, Why you behave so innocently? If you want to be chosen for this, all you have to do is ask!” James said, sliding his big masculine hands across my slender arm. I shivered in the most disgusting way, it was like thorns were making their way on my arms and I couldn’t do anything.
The hundred yard office suddenly looked so small that it was suffocating me to breathe the same air as James was. I was horrified with what was happening with me. The way his hand was rested on my shoulder was making me uneasy.
“Sir, you are crossing your line” I warned him to back off, but he didn’t instead he came even closer to me that we were nose to nose. I shut my eyes and thought about the options I was left with.
“Meera be mine, one night and your life will change, you don’t have to be the assistant manager, looking for anybody’s approval, you will be my secretary and trust me your life will become heaven. Don’t think much” He purred into my ears and my eyes started to sting as his every word registered in my mind.
“Meera tell him to fuck off, hit him where he needed to be, don’t run like other women do, its harassment, which is happening with you, he needs to learn a lesson and if not now then maybe never” My inner voice nudged and for once I listened to her.
“Get the hell away from me, you asshole” I yelled at the top my lungs shoving him with as much strength as it was possible.
“What you thought, hearing your offer I will be putty in your hands? I will succumb to your demands? Just because of people like you women are subjugated in this society! Who do you think you are? I am not your sex toy and no woman is! We are capable enough to make our own place. In the name of gender equality you hire women, this is what gender equality means? If you can’t respect women you don’t even have any right to disrespect any women” I said and by then the whole staff was looking at him with eyes wide and radiating anger.
James, head bowed, he was ashamed of what he did and for once I was proud of my inner self for making me do the right thing. With my head held high I left, leaving all the staff members to decide what should be done next.
It’s time we all should come together and in the name of gender equality eliminate this harassment which is needed. Sexism is a social disease and the only cure is to be strong enough to stand against it….