Enough!

A few days ago I was on my way to my best friend’s house. I have not seen her in a long while and I was half skipping the paces to get to her house, glad that finally we both are free to spend a long time together. So there I was walking happily on the pavement when suddenly a young man, dressed like any regular young man with his sun glasses on and a jacket in his hand, walks out of the garden (we have an awful lot of gardens in my neighborhood) that lines the pavement I was walking on.
The only difference was that I saw he was walking with only his groin exposed (if you get my drift).
I don’t know how I did it, but suddenly I was hurrying along the opposite pavement, for a moment feeling that I was walking with bloodless body. An invasion of numbness.
I am not here to tell you how I felt then, because what I felt can’t be described without getting violent or disrespectful in words. And that is not my style.
But I will give you a hint. I felt dirty, I felt that everybody on the street knew what has happened, I imagined that every pair of eyes was looking at me with contempt, thinking me low… thinking that I had asked for it!
This isn’t something a girl can easily get over, especially a girl like me, who have encountered sexual harassment before. For a whole week I kept waking up with the image of that young man hitting me in the head upon opening my eyes. I swear!
I am not scarred by it, I am not afraid to go out into the streets. I am only felt with mortal rage.
Mum raised me to worship two things in this life; Allah and respect. And I have dealt with everything with respect allowing no one to step over me in the process. But to be VIOLATED like that when I have done absolutely nothing to earn it, and WORSE to not being able to do anything about it.
It made me hate and curse myself. I should have yelled, called him names, made a scene. I should have demanded that he be insulted the way he insulted me. He should have been made an example of!

I am here, because I am every girl and woman. I am the victim, and I am best friend with a childhood friend who came across such sordidness a week before I did.
And I want to do something about it. I want to yell it, tell every one. I want to stand on a stage with the entire university gathered before me, and tell them how a woman really feels when something so dirty happens. And I want it heard in every language, because this … this… I respect you too much to say what this really is.
And I wanna know why.
I want to do it, because now written words are as good as silence.
But I won’t be able to do t alone.
I don’t care when, I don’t care how, and I don’t give a damn what people may say or think. Something simply has to be done, we are on the verge of writing a new history, and not speaking up about such a thing I believe is plain cowardice. A new definition of retardation.

Stalker. Abductor. Lover 4 (sequence)

 What the hell was that?

His hands were on the steering wheel, his eyes were on the road, his legs were in control of the pedals, but his mind was not in the moment of now. His body worked the routine of driving with heedless mind. It wandered a few minutes back to the surprise of their second unplanned meeting.

 How could it be possible? he asked for the hundredth time. What were the odds to run into her of all people on the road he ran up and down almost everyday a mere 24 hours after spotting her from a roof top? Usually there was a voice there inside his head that had a logical explanation for about everything, but right now, as he replayed that the brief eye contact in his mind and asked questions, that voice seemed as though it never existed.
The traffic came to a stop at a red light, his car idled to a halt with an absent-minded press from his foot and he rested his elbow on the open window, liking the way the gentle summer air brushed the hairs on his forearms. Though strangely, that same air didn’t seem to get all the way to his lungs.
  It angered him a little that that pathetically brief encounter of chance put him in such state. What, for the life of him, would he be like if they had started up a conversation? Only a glance. From the one woman he’d wished in his heart–for some bizarre reason– to see again.
And not two days later he had actually seen her?
Maybe that was it. His wish came true, or maybe–
The green light came up and he continued toward his next stop after every morning run, a part of his mind still speculating the unfinished possibility.
As usual the cafe and restaurant, Stella, was busy with people eating and drinking at the tables, littering the vast space of the place that shrank due to the double-line of people at the counter ordering their coffee or breakfast so that they could be off to wherever they should be off at 8:15 in the morning. Nicolas took a seat at a two-seat table that wasn’t far from the one he usually took. He came here three times a week to have his after-workout food. He liked it here in this early hour, among people he wasn’t around because their faces were attached to an assignment, people who actually did the normal things normal people did every morning. He liked to observe them subtly in the tranquil atmosphere of the cafe. It was one of its qualities, the tranquility of it even when the waiters looked as if they wanted to scream.
He praised each one of them for their self-control. A waiter came and took his order, then he sighed, slumping in his chair as he waited his order with a smile of amusement on his face. Watching people, looking at their watches and rushing their orders, he was glad that his morning routine was not stressful. It was made up voluntarily and with no need to rush through it at all.
It was one of the finer aspects of a career like his.
“What the hell is this?” An angry-looking man asked, his outraged voice boomed into the entire vicinity of the place, looking irritatedably at the young waitress who had placed a tall glass of thick juice in front of him and was just about to leave.
“What is the matter, sir? Is something wrong?”
Everybody was silent, stopped short in the act of eating, or in the middle of the sentences. And they were all turned to the source of disruption. Her question came to break the spell of string-taut silence.
The man snorted rudely “Is something wrong? Of course there is something wrong ? Where is my order?” Nicolas had the feeling that the man was angry about some thing else entirely and was taking it out on the poor flushed girl. Because really, if the order was not right, did it require all that fuss?
 Nicolas doubted it, and he wished he was seated somewhere else than directly in front of that horrid man. His fists itched.
“I don’t understand sir. This is your order, you have given it to me just a few minutes ago, here–” she reached into the pocket at the front of her uniform apron, but before she could shakily pull out the order pad he interrupted her.
“Do you think I would give you an order and then say that it isn’t what I had asked for, just for the hell of it? Do you think I am crazy, you…”
He was going to call the girl something disrespectful, something that would have dissolved the girl into a pool of tears no doubt if his unwarranted assault hadn’t been interrupted.
” What is going on?” Asked a high authoritative voice of a woman from the back of the room, “Why is it that my restaurant isn’t the same as every morning?”
It was amazing how that voice stopped the man, how it cooled a little of the heat of anger from his face, and how it made him stop burn holes into the girl’s pale face and straighten. It was the power in it that made Nicolas turn in his seat and try to see the face that went with the voice.
He didn’t have to twist all the way backwards.
The woman walked into the middle of the scene then, with another waiter at her elbow, perhaps the one who informed her of the disorder.
And Nicolas’ his jaw dropped open, turning into a piece of wood, stiffening right through the blood. Later he would think that it was a work of a merciful god that his order had not yet been served. He would have choked to his death then and there.

Stalker. Abductor. Lover4

Stalker. Abductor. Lover4.

Two…
A spark
 

Nicolas knew many things, about the world, about himself. He knew that he was one of the best in what he did for living, he could pick out the best gun, or a rifle, among a hundred. In the calender he hung on the wall of the small corridor between the kitchen and the bathroom, it said that the sun rose at 5:30 a.m. That was not accurate. The first light pierced the night at 5:00 am sharp. He knew it because dawn for some reason had always fascinated him. He spoke French, Spanish, Russian and English; his native tongue would remain a mystery to him.

He could tell an assassin from a regular human being, from the way they held themselves and how their eyes took in their surroundings. He knew that in their world the gun should be their soul mate, and that getting a job done without any lead tracing it back to them was the one thing that was worth thinking about. In that line of work, they were known by numbers –assassin no.159, assassin no.203– not with names, for it was a first nature to them. Because, they were told, that was their purpose here on Earth. They were free to do whatever else they wanted to do when there were not messages of  new assignments.

He also knew that each one of them had a second nature, it was common among them, they did not have to speak it It did not usually reveal itself by will, it just happened; it soaked through their beings and became an  indispensable escape. Something they would definitely go mad without.
Sometimes a musical instrument spoke to one, a paint brush and colors spoke to another.
To Nicolas, it was running.
There was nothing like it. It wasn’t the running of a prey, or the frightened flight of a target. Running to Nicolas was the seeking of pleasure in the act itself. Nothing could compare to the power he felt as he ran just because he wanted to, the sound of his trainers beating the asphalt almost soundlessly, the controlled breathing, the challenge when increasing speed and finding that his body was up to every dare, and a thousand and one other things that made running something he did without thinking, like breathing.
At 7:30 in the morning, he took the road up the mountain. The road was smooth, and not traveled this time of the day. The vast expanse of the ocean on his right was sending the pure air, mingled with the sweet scent of salt, into his lungs. The air here was probably the main reason why he came here almost every day. That and the solitude. His legs set a strong rhythm that fit the supple upward recline of the road as he went on. 

One, two, three, four
An inhale through the nose. An exhale buffing through the mouth.
One, two, three, four
The noise of the jostling water in the canteen he held in hand was just another feature of the familiar many around him, a distant sound like the crashing waves he could not hear at this distance.
One, two, three, four
It had  hypnotic powers that forced the negative energy from his body and let his mind wonder away from this world.

 That was the time when there was only him, the road rushing beneath his feet and the coastal clean air. If there should be a cramp somewhere in his body or a burn in his lungs, he could not feel it.
He slowed down as he saw the curve where he always rested and looked out through the tall trees at the endless ocean coming up. His chest rising and falling a bit uncontrollably, he took a long drink from his canteen, almost sucking the liquid if he hadn’t remember the jog back down the road to where he had parked his car. He braced his forearms onto the cool metal rail that bordered the edges of the road. It was thick and many lives were saved because it could handle the force of a car slamming into its body. But of course, some lives were not so lucky.
But he didn’t think about that now, he stood there leaning against the rail, flexing his ankles as he tossed his canteen from one hand to the other.
He thought of nothing, a rare moment in a world like his, and closed his eyes trying to imagine the roar of the waves as they exploded into foam against the sand of the beach. It had been so long since he had last been to a beach and he decided to go after his next assignment. He didn’t know how, but he was almost sure that he would receive a message any time between tonight and tomorrow.
 It was an intuition that only mothers seemed to have.
He kept his eyes closed, letting a slow smile tug at his lips, and enjoying the fine air, when suddenly the tips of his ears pricked. His eyes snapped open.
Maybe it was his body telling him that it was time to jog back… or maybe it was the sudden sensation of not being alone any more.


He turned around so that his back was to the rail. It didn’t take a whole minutes till the regular bumping of another runner came to him. Nicolas straightened to his full length, surprised that someone would be here other than him when, in all the years he had been coming here, no one ever did. Not at this time of the day, any way.
The runner was now coming around  the broad curve in the mountain that concealed Nicolas from view. Strangely, Nicolas’ heart quickened in his chest, but when he saw who the runner was, all his heart could do was to trip over every beat.
He first saw legs clad in mid-thigh shorts, the exposed skin taut showing fading tan and strong muscles one did not see often on a female, yet they did not lose their feminine touch. Then a ray of sun shine passed over her head, turning her hair to dark golden fire for a second.
Good God, that hair
Then, as she approached, their eyes met, a fleeting glance from a complete stranger with big hazel orbs tinged with smithereens of green, yet it seemed to squeeze Nicolas windpipes.
Just a glance.

It was all it took to immobilize him in place, staring after her.

Stalker. Abductor. Lover4

 Two…
A spark
 

Nicolas knew many things, about the world, about himself. He knew that he was one of the best in what he did for living, he could pick out the best gun, or a rifle, among a hundred. In the calender he hung on the wall of the small corridor between the kitchen and the bathroom, it said that the sun rose at 5:30 a.m. That was not accurate. The first light pierced the night at 5:00 am sharp. He knew it because dawn for some reason had always fascinated him. He spoke French, Spanish, Russian and English; his native tongue would remain a mystery to him.

He could tell an assassin from a regular human being, from the way they held themselves and how their eyes took in their surroundings. He knew that in their world the gun should be their soul mate, and that getting a job done without any lead tracing it back to them was the one thing that was worth thinking about. In that line of work, they were known by numbers –assassin no.159, assassin no.203– not with names, for it was a first nature to them. Because, they were told, that was their purpose here on Earth. They were free to do whatever else they wanted to do when there were not messages of  new assignments.

He also knew that each one of them had a second nature, it was common among them, they did not have to speak it It did not usually reveal itself by will, it just happened; it soaked through their beings and became an  indispensable escape. Something they would definitely go mad without.
Sometimes a musical instrument spoke to one, a paint brush and colors spoke to another.
To Nicolas, it was running.
There was nothing like it. It wasn’t the running of a prey, or the frightened flight of a target. Running to Nicolas was the seeking of pleasure in the act itself. Nothing could compare to the power he felt as he ran just because he wanted to, the sound of his trainers beating the asphalt almost soundlessly, the controlled breathing, the challenge when increasing speed and finding that his body was up to every dare, and a thousand and one other things that made running something he did without thinking, like breathing.
At 7:30 in the morning, he took the road up the mountain. The road was smooth, and not traveled this time of the day. The vast expanse of the ocean on his right was sending the pure air, mingled with the sweet scent of salt, into his lungs. The air here was probably the main reason why he came here almost every day. That and the solitude. His legs set a strong rhythm that fit the supple upward recline of the road as he went on. 


One, two, three, four
An inhale through the nose. An exhale buffing through the mouth.
One, two, three, four
The noise of the jostling water in the canteen he held in hand was just another feature of the familiar many around him, a distant sound like the crashing waves he could not hear at this distance.
One, two, three, four
It had  hypnotic powers that forced the negative energy from his body and let his mind wonder away from this world.

 That was the time when there was only him, the road rushing beneath his feet and the coastal clean air. If there should be a cramp somewhere in his body or a burn in his lungs, he could not feel it.
He slowed down as he saw the curve where he always rested and looked out through the tall trees at the endless ocean coming up. His chest rising and falling a bit uncontrollably, he took a long drink from his canteen, almost sucking the liquid if he hadn’t remember the jog back down the road to where he had parked his car. He braced his forearms onto the cool metal rail that bordered the edges of the road. It was thick and many lives were saved because it could handle the force of a car slamming into its body. But of course, some lives were not so lucky.
But he didn’t think about that now, he stood there leaning against the rail, flexing his ankles as he tossed his canteen from one hand to the other.
He thought of nothing, a rare moment in a world like his, and closed his eyes trying to imagine the roar of the waves as they exploded into foam against the sand of the beach. It had been so long since he had last been to a beach and he decided to go after his next assignment. He didn’t know how, but he was almost sure that he would receive a message any time between tonight and tomorrow.
 It was an intuition that only mothers seemed to have.
He kept his eyes closed, letting a slow smile tug at his lips, and enjoying the fine air, when suddenly the tips of his ears pricked. His eyes snapped open.
Maybe it was his body telling him that it was time to jog back… or maybe it was the sudden sensation of not being alone any more.


He turned around so that his back was to the rail. It didn’t take a whole minutes till the regular bumping of another runner came to him. Nicolas straightened to his full length, surprised that someone would be here other than him when, in all the years he had been coming here, no one ever did. Not at this time of the day, any way.
The runner was now coming around  the broad curve in the mountain that concealed Nicolas from view. Strangely, Nicolas’ heart quickened in his chest, but when he saw who the runner was, all his heart could do was to trip over every beat.
He first saw legs clad in mid-thigh shorts, the exposed skin taut showing fading tan and strong muscles one did not see often on a female, yet they did not lose their feminine touch. Then a ray of sun shine passed over her head, turning her hair to dark golden fire for a second.
Good God, that hair
Then, as she approached, their eyes met, a fleeting glance from a complete stranger with big hazel orbs tinged with smithereens of green, yet it seemed to squeeze Nicolas windpipes.
Just a glance.
It was all it took to immobilize him in place, staring after her.

Stalker. Abductor. Lover2

Stalker. Abductor. Lover2.
Prologue…

Some change

 I didn’t know what burst the bubble of sleep, but I was awake now and it seemed that there would not be a return to that peaceful slumber any time soon.
He didn’t make a sound, but I knew that he was there; my former stalker. I knew that he had been watching me sleep. He did not say as much, but it was obvious to me that he didn’t trust me enough to have the night hours for myself, thinking that I would escape his “haven”.
That was part my fault. I didn’t give him a reason to think otherwise.
I have long since lost count of how many nights we have spent with him slumped awake on that rocking chair in the corner, one eye on something in his hands, the other watching my every breath. There were so many of those that sometimes it was difficult to doze off when he was not there. Those times the night time stretched as I wait for him to come, to come so that I could argue my case, my violated privacy.
This night-shift watchfulness puzzled me. was he not as human as me? did he not need his sleep as well? these stupid wondering infuriated me, for why should I possibly care how he managed his life?
All that mattered was the audacity with which he managed mine.
But, try as I might to deny it, there were times when sleep took over while I waited for the sound of his foot falls on the carpeted hallway outside the room.
He was there, I knew it. I listened to the sounds around me– a distant ticking of the clock outside, made louder by the impenetrable silence of the night, crickets droning out side the window. I heard no page turning, no quiet tabbing on a keyboard– He was not doing what he used to do every night. He just watching me tonight for some reason unknown.
I took a deep breath and uncurled my body. I felt stiff on this clammy night, so much humidity. My clothes clung stickily to my skin and my hair was damp at the fringes. It was the perfect night to spent an hour or so under a current of a cold water, but I knew that a shower would have to wait. I turned my head and looked at him.
There he was as I knew he would be, fresh and at ease, unaffected by the weather, yet as hot as the sting of summer in the air. There was a dark masculinity about him that triggered the full force of my defenses, vigorous and threatening. I hated him. I hated him and all he was with a passion that boiled in my blood. Now, however, as the trees outside swayed to a weak breeze and the night quietness hummed around us, I met the eyes of my abductor. He looked into mine right back with a ghost of a smile, and I suddenly realized that hate was gone.
Now there was a wicked tingle of excitement…
 

Stalker. Abductor. Lover2

 Prologue…
Some change

 I didn’t know what burst the bubble of sleep, but I was awake now and it seemed that there would not be a return to that peaceful slumber any time soon.
He didn’t make a sound, but I knew that he was there; my former stalker. I knew that he had been watching me sleep. He did not say as much, but it was obvious to me that he didn’t trust me enough to have the night hours for myself, thinking that I would escape his “haven”.
That was part my fault. I didn’t give him a reason to think otherwise.
I have long since lost count of how many nights we have spent with him slumped awake on that rocking chair in the corner, one eye on something in his hands, the other watching my every breath. There were so many of those that sometimes it was difficult to doze off when he was not there. Those times the night time stretched as I wait for him to come, to come so that I could argue my case, my violated privacy.
This night-shift watchfulness puzzled me. was he not as human as me? did he not need his sleep as well? these stupid wondering infuriated me, for why should I possibly care how he managed his life?
All that mattered was the audacity with which he managed mine.
But, try as I might to deny it, there were times when sleep took over while I waited for the sound of his foot falls on the carpeted hallway outside the room.
He was there, I knew it. I listened to the sounds around me– a distant ticking of the clock outside, made louder by the impenetrable silence of the night, crickets droning out side the window. I heard no page turning, no quiet tabbing on a keyboard– He was not doing what he used to do every night. He just watching me tonight for some reason unknown.
I took a deep breath and uncurled my body. I felt stiff on this clammy night, so much humidity. My clothes clung stickily to my skin and my hair was damp at the fringes. It was the perfect night to spent an hour or so under a current of a cold water, but I knew that a shower would have to wait. I turned my head and looked at him.
There he was as I knew he would be, fresh and at ease, unaffected by the weather, yet as hot as the sting of summer in the air. There was a dark masculinity about him that triggered the full force of my defenses, vigorous and threatening. I hated him. I hated him and all he was with a passion that boiled in my blood. Now, however, as the trees outside swayed to a weak breeze and the night quietness hummed around us, I met the eyes of my abductor. He looked into mine right back with a ghost of a smile, and I suddenly realized that hate was gone.
Now there was a wicked tingle of excitement…