Clunky blue chukka boots walk near my presence. A skin crawling wind descends upon me, a silent belittlement, chilling me to the core.
My gaze travels to a scarred looking Rayyan. “Get on the ground.” Straight angry lines crawl from the corner of his corneas tinted in pink abrasions. He wears a mask of purple whelps. I did that, caused those blood spitting wounds, battle scar gashes. His air of sophistication now rugged and ajar. I believe wearing a rumpled t-shirt with the imprint of Oxford’s Alma matter counts as dressed down apparel.
The press creases in his jeans tell me he has just arisen.
Flee, my manifesto is not complete.
“Get out,” My response is strained and my heart aches seeing him again.
“On your hands and knees.”
I ignore him and that of Arman standing obediently in the shadows to intimidate. The rhythm of my pen’s tapping an empty page enrages him more. In two quick strides, his shadow transcends mine. “Now Imani.” He grabs the innocent journal from my lap, another of his famous gifts. Italian leather balls into his fist.
His chest inflates, standing so proud above my eye line, with one finger I could locate the pierced stab wound. “You 've recovered fast.”
He looks tired, heavy bags hang around his eyelids, wool warms his strong jawline. He’s darker, tan.
“After you left me for dead, I am surprised the remorse isn 't rolling off you in waves.”
His hint of amusement is smarmy. A ball of distaste grounds inside my cheek. With a sickening belch of saliva, my loathe aims for his six-hundred-dollar shoes. His last moment of patience slithers away.
He grabs stiff limbs from the bed.
I fumble in the sheets when I hit the hardwood.
“You have the audacity to spit on me.”...
... middle of paper ...
...his head back together. The moist stitches must be fresh as his face flinches when I apply pressure.
“Don’t touch me. Don’t you ever.”
He separates us with distance and I’m unsure what fate is worse, familiar hands or the smooth butt of Arman’s weapon rubbing circles against my back.
I am pushed to walk ahead to life outside of this prison and I do.
Dalal’s face greets mine as we walk past the living room and head for the connecting kitchen. The smell of the rosewater she and Malika carry as they walk up the staircase makes me anxious and highlights all the little insecurities I feared of being deserted here to be true.
I put my straightened hair in a messy top knot.
The journey I have left to walk isn’t a long one, as I pass the scattered bowls stacked on the kitchen’s tiled counters. The patio door is open, the smell of searing smoke infiltrates the walls of clay.
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