In Exile : Part 4
I couldn't wake. Although, I opened my eyes but all I saw was blackness. A blind covered my sight. I was in sitting position but I struggled to move. I noticed my eyes were not the only part of my body that was made limited. My hands, were too, bound. I was on passenger's seat when he drove me somewhere. He - someone who I barely even knew and fast enough to hurt me. Somewhere, which I did have no clue about.
I stayed in silence, whilst listening to his conversation. There was no hint of slurred, lisps, nor accent when he spoke, but American. Loud, clear, and articulate American accent. Other than some profane cursing, He mentioned that he was with another person, female - me.
"I captured her." he said confidently. "...Okay, Okay..." I imagine him nodding while he listened to his speaking opponent over the phone. I wondered what they were speaking about and what it had to do with my helpless self.
I did not know how many hours or minutes that we had spent across the road. But I sensed that we had reached our destination when I heard the door clicked open. It occurred to me that he drove my Nisan. I was trying my best to stay calm, and then the passenger door opened. Without a slight of care, he grabbed my upper arm and tugged me out of the car. My sore muscle screamed, but I could not even say a word from my wounded throat. I made noise instead of a vocal that was close to human.
"Move," he pushed my back forward, I nearly stumbled. I did nothing but to comply and walk. I carefully sensed the pebbles and the concrete below my shoes. At least, I knew that we were going to not going to an uncharted place. However, my heart dropped when I noticed that the concrete path was vanished, and turned into grass steps. I walked forward until he told me to stop.
I wondered where I was. Now I could hear a soaring eagle and a thundering wave of ocean close to me.
"Kneel." he ordered, his voice was drawing further. I hope this was not turning as I was thinking.
"Please!" I forced my voice out until my vocal chord trembled and seemed torn. I heard my own voice which did not sound like my own. "Let me go!"
"KNEEL!" he shouted and a fire opened, next to my legs. It felt as if there was an electric shock jolting my body. My legs started to quickly quaver and I did not ask them to rest on to the sandy ground.
I cried and cried. Until my blindfold drenched. I bet he could see me hunching and shaking from afar. This was so fast, but I hoped that it was not what I was thinking. I was hopeful yet hopeless. I meant, he was not going to shoot me, was he?
Then, I was running out of tears. With pain that ran over my body, neck, stomach, arm - I was exhausted very quickly. I thought this was part of his his plans. To drain my power to nothing, to let me stop crying so that he let me hear myself and feel the unbearing pain when the bullet hit my chest or skull. He really wanted me to feel that. Who am I to him? What had I caused to him? I did not even have the chance to defend myself.
I realised that he had been quiet. I had calm myself enough and already prepared to hear the sound og deathgun blazing through my flesh. But, where was it?
"COME ON YOU BASTARD. FIRE AWAY!" the screamed went out almost unknowingly from my intention and short enough, three bullets were fired. Their sounds were so close, it hurt my ears. I winced and winced as if it was enough to protect me from the open fire. The last shot was even louder than the early and the previous. It even drew closer to me.
Then, my blind was dragged down below my chin. I watched the white ripple of the dark ocean dancing in front of me. I was on a coastline nowhere I knew. Shortly, his fisted my hair and whispered.
"You owed me." he hissed between his teeth.
We were back in the car again and he had shifted my hand bound, which was now adjusted to the front, but he kept even tighter. I was trying to proccess what had happened. The rampage and my near death experience. I could ask him what he had been trying to do with me, but I'd rather not. I'd rather stayed in silence and kept my mouth shut. I looked at the road. I assumed that we have left Beirut, because the road was much more deserted and empty. If only I saw one person on the road. I would jump and scream for a rescue. But there was none. It was extremely peculiar.
I guess it was a safehouse. Located inside a bunker and I followed his order to walk down. So I did. Cautiously, balanced my body so that I did not fall from the staircase.
"Oh, look what he brings here!" I heard an exuberant shouting from a far, from the blackness ahead of me. I could not see anyone but whoever they were, they had seen me.
The room was occupied by grown men. It frightened me to my bones. What now? This was even horrible than my nearly broken neck and rib. I forced my frozen muscles to move and battle the gauntlet away. They were just like my assaulter. Early thirties. All were six feet over in fit built, some were even in heavy built. They made my assaulter a skinny man.
"Rush! You know how we all miss to lick some sweets!" a man grabbed my chin and stick his tongue out. Disgusted, I drew myself away.
Rush - or so his name was - he gripped my arm tight whilst screaming profanity back to his gang. He led me into a room and shut the door down.
He made dragging a steel table look easy. He placed the table in front of me, and undid my rucksack. I did not notice that he had my rucksack all that while. Eyewear - reading glass and sunshade, wallet, passport, voice recorder, note tablet, cellphone and little notebook, were spread on the table. He looked at me and said firmly.
"I want you to strip." he crossed his arms in front his chest.
"That would made me uncomfortable--"
"Well, If I stripped you would that make you feel less uncomfortable?" his eyes were reading mine. I knew he did not suggest anything sexually, but what he had done to me was terrible enough. I defended myself.
"I am married." I answered calmly.
He shook his head. A little grin formed on his face as if he was answering to a stupidity. "I did not ask you that. I want you to strip..." his eyes widened and a silent question was thrown. Solid enough, I shook my head and answered, "No."
He moved to the other side of the table, towards me. "Give me your hand."
I complied and showed my hand to him. He noticed the wedding ring on my finger. He removed, studied and place it on to the table. He walked to the place he had stood before, in fact a little further.
There was a long chain and he carried it forward towards me. He hooked the chain to my bound hands.
I close my eyes and again hoping that it was not what I was thinking.
Sure enough, I felt my hands elevated, so high and then my body was lifted. I was suspended from the ceiling. I could see him from above, he was still tall. Standing as high as my hips as I was floating 2 feet from the ground.
He circled me and then stopped at my front. "You chose the hard way," he said as he undid my jeans and tugged them just above my feet. I was immobile. I writhed my body over and over to fight him but it seemed useless. Then, he picked my undershirt, torn it apart to the under band of my bra. He twisted the torn part of the shirt, exposing most of my torso.
Being this vulnerable, I gave up my fight.
I watched him studying my document on the table, right now I knew he knew my name.
"Liberty." he mentioned and then looked at me without remorse, even, flat. Something was wrong with him as a human being. "It is ironic isn't it? Having you hanging up there, Liberty."
I grunt. The chain clinked.
"Don't bother to twist or writhe, you would be hurting yourself." he said without even not looking at me.
"Who are you? What do you want for me?"
"How do you know that short bastard?"
"Sameer! Don't pretend that you do not know him."
"I do not know him, I swear, I was just staying at his hostel for a short period."
"Why do you come to this country?"
I felt like spitting on his face. He is not even a local. "Who are you, asking me such question? Speak for yourself."
I did not expect that he found my last answer offensive. He withdrew his belt than encircled his waistline and whip it against my skin. I have never felt such a jolting pain before. The force and the speed when the leather and the buckle hit my skin, it was unbearable. I knew if he would do this three times, he could scrap my skin.
The first stroke, I was trying to be strong so I just hissed the pain. But when it came to fourth, I was screaming on the top of my lungs.
"Don't speak to me like that, Missy." he threatened."Why do you come here?"
"I am a journalist." I answered over my cry.
He raised his eyebrows. "But I do not see any proof of that."
"It is in my wallet." my voice was thin and I spoke fast, as long as, I could avoid his assault.
He hurried and checked my wallet. In a card pocket inside, he managed to find my ID card.
"The Asia's Tribune." he murmured.
"Hey, Rush! You don't hide pretty woman alone." a person broke into the room. Rush was not paying attention he was looking at my belongings and studied them one by one. The person who broke in, was about Rush's age, a bit heavier than him, with short blonde hair and blue-eyed. A good-looking man although very badly mannered. He looked at me as if I was an object he wanted to have. "So tight, man." he commented as he flinched the bottom lip of my navel. All my muscle was worn out, even the tiniest touch could make me winced. And I noticed, it excited him well.
He was slipping his hands underneath my brief and squeeze my cheeks with his own bare filthy hands. Then he made a biting impression. I was utterly disgusted. I drew my face away from the floor.
"Back off pervert!" I heard a punch, yes, Rush had punched the man in the face. One punch and he bled. I got the impression that Rush was fearful person among the pack. The blonde man might replied him sarcastically along his way out of the room, but at least, he was out and Rush did not have to make further effort.
"So you had no connection at all with Sameer?"
"How do you know him?"
"My boss arranged my stay and he let me stay in his guesthouse."
"So your boss knew him first, that means you had someone related to you who knows Sameer."
"Yes... but not personally. Maybe it was business to business relation."
He chuckled. I did not bother to ask why or what. "That is a wrong answer, but I know what you mean. Sameer had never kept personal matter, he was a greedy business man. You understand me."
I nod. I just had to.
"Well, that was too bad, I thought we might had a good deal of information from you. Then, I believe we had to," he made an impression of a handgun and shoot it at me, "we needed to kill you off."
My eyes turned glassy again. "THAT IS NOT FAIR. I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST YOU--"
The sixth, seventh and eight lashes shut me up good. I had no power to control my body. I swung from side to side. He lowered the chain, and held me against his body before he released me. All of my muscles melted and all I had for support was being clinged on to his broad shoulder.
He placed me on the floor and did my jeans. He removed my torn undershirt and male flannel shirt and replace it with the navy blue tee he was wearing. I smelled weird and I was drown in it.
"I can make a good use of you." he said.
"We'll talk about it tomorrow."