I paused to give him a chance to recognize his victim and to start his routine


by Saeed Tavakkol

Once again, it was he the same pervert who followed me the moment I fell asleep. It’s hard to believe but it’s true. The minute I fall asleep, I have to run for my life. He’d never caught up with me yet because when I run out of breath and seconds before he reaches me, I trip and hit my head on a curb or run into traffic light pole on the street corner and wake up in sweat. I’m living a rerun episode of the same nightmare over and again.

Last time as I was escaping from this maniac I said to myself, “I can’t go on like this, I can’t run forever especially in my sleep. The main purpose of sleep is to rest not to run! A rapist or a murderer he might be, I will face him.” Then I stumbled and fell. As soon as I woke up I grabbed my pepper spray from my purse and the baseball bat from underneath my bed and closed my eyes anxiously to meet him again. I put the spray in my shirt pocket and hid the bat in the next street corner by the newsstand where I’d planned to make a right turn during the chase.

Sure enough he was waiting for my arrival exactly where I expected him. I paused to give him a chance to recognize his victim and to start his routine. He noticed me but made no move. Maybe he knew what I was up to. Now that I was in control he got cold feet. I was determined to put an end to this charade. He had his hands in his pockets and whispering something I could not hear. Since he was reluctant to agonize me I took the first step toward the night stalker, “So, what’s next you bastard? I don’t interest you anymore?” I shouted fearlessly.

I could see his lips moving but heard nothing. I walked closer and he took his right hand out of his pocket and his switchblade flickered in my eyes.

I rushed toward the street corner where I had my weapon hidden and he ran after me like never before. He was about ten yards behind me when I made the turn and swiftly grabbed the baseball bat. Suddenly I stopped, turned back and faced him. He was now within my striking range. The pervert was throwing his hands in the air and babbling words incomprehensible to me. Before he got a change to make any move, I stroke him in his kneecap. As he was grabbing his shattered knee, I took another swing and hit him in the face. His painful scream was so loud that I thought he would wake me up and ruin the experience but it didn’t. He collapsed on the pavement. At first I decided to wake up and put this nightmare behind me and go on with my life. And then the terror of the previous episodes shivered my entire being so I calmly walked back to him and crushed the same fingers clamping tightly on his injured knee.

Obviously, he was suffering from an excruciating pain, I could see it in his eyes and in his revengeful looks on his face a gaze I couldn’t allow to haunt me forever. So I sat down next to my assailant and carefully opened his squinted eyes filled with tears hoping to see deep inside his soul and to understand his perverse pleasure in tormenting an innocent girl. More I explored his soul less I saw. Deeper I penetrated his eyes, darker my nightmare became. More I searched, less I found yet I knew he had a story to tell. I was desperately waiting for him to tell me anything, anything at all so I shook his head violently and threatened him with a harsher punishment for his lack of cooperation and finally opened his mouth just to see he had no tongue.

I felt sorry for him for being the weaker one and for being the victim in my nightmare and hated him more for the same reason. So I kept his eyes wide open and gave him two full blasts of pepper spray, one in each eye. Seeing him suffer gave me pleasure beyond my imagination and tempted me to stab him in the chest with his switchblade but I refrained.

I left my injured victim in the darkest street of my nightmare and went back to reality.

And when I woke, I found myself in a hospital room. A doctor with the help of two nurses was casting my knee and my broken fingers. I barely opened my burning eyes and noticed my crying mother listening to a police officer telling her how the cops heard my squealing in the dark and found me bleeding in the street corner.


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