I know he is watching me. I can feel his eyes piercing my back, then my bare neck, and my hair, after I released it from my grip. I can feel another pair of hands, male hands; but not his. I turn around and see a stranger. I don’t want him to touch me, so I tell him to back off. He doesn’t. And then someone is standing beside me. It’s him.
-Hey, leave her alone.
The stranger just laughs; a terrible sound I never want to hear again.
– You don’t have to…
– Oh, I do.
But then a hairy, sweaty hand holds mine, my legs are getting weaker, as the stranger tries to drag me in his direction.
I turn towards him and mouth “Run”. Then, with all my strength, I punch the stranger in the face. And we run.
We stop at the corner of the street. I can barely breathe, but I hear myself laugh. My hand hurts, my hair is all over my face. That was not at all how I wanted this night to end. It was like he reads my mind.
– You know, it doesn’t have to end.
I look at him, encouraging him to continue.
– You want some ice cream?
– Where are we getting ice cream at 3 in the morning?
– I know a place. – is all he says.
And we eat ice cream. Then we walk home, even though he lives an hour away in the opposite direction. And then we stand in front of my door. I still don’t want it to end. He reads my mind again, but doesn’t say a word. He just sits on the stairs and taps the ground for me to join him. And we just stand there, watching the sky change its colours, and the street come back to life. My hand doesn’t hurt anymore; because he is holding it. We say nothing. And it feels good.