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Adult content warning!

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Shoo! Shoo!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The underground incident

“It’s pretty late, maybe I should have ordered a taxi, instead of going by underground? No, I’ll enjoy the ride”
The wagon was almost empty. At first there were still a few passengers boarding the train, but the longer the ride was, the less they became. We were heading  into the outskirts, in the darkest time of the year, late November. Nobody wanted to be outside, not around eleven pm in cold damp weather. Maybe I should have reconsidered before I entered the train. Nobody, especially not a woman, should be out here at night, almost alone.
I looked around, two people were there. One was a middle-aged man who looked as if he had worked overtime and he could not even keep his head up, as tired as he was. He was not dangerous, he would rather need help, in case of a mugging. Who was sitting over there? A few meters away,  at the other end of the wagon, a little woman sat. Where could she have been from? She sat there with a stoic expression, trying not to attract any attention. She wore this empty stare like a coat that was meant to protect her from harm. Where from? Turkey?  I’d assume the skin would be a little lighter than hers was? Who am I to know?! Anyway, if she had not had this empty stare, her eyes would have been most beautiful.

The dark grey coat covered most of her silhouette. The next moment I followed the lines of her pitch black hair with some grey streaks in it to see what hairstyle she wore. She had it all in a tight bun, but one streak had come out of it and fell to the side. This little streak made her look younger, almost like a student. How old could she be? I observed her, tried to see the lines in her face. There were few, and the lines around her mouth and eyes were not from age. It was sorrow, or frustration. At least it looked like it. Suddenly she looked puzzled. Oh, look, there was life in her eyes. They were dark brown and now they were marvelous. She had big doe eyes and for a short moment her eyes gave her away. Her thoughts were about a very pleasant moment. Her eyes grew soft and mild and at the same time, her mouth almost flashed a smile. The moment was over as quickly as it had come. Her eyes moved around, to check if anybody had seen her smile. I looked away, tried to see anything outside the wagon windows. She could be of Afghan or Pakistani origin. James had some stories to tell about that. Those stories were always exciting. They were tragedies or comedies. And if there were women in them, he described them like her.

There was nothing but darkness, the wagon rolled from the left to the right in endless monotony. I closed my eyes and slowly started to drift away. But I was still aware of the train movement, as it decelerated and finally stopped. Lurching steps. The tired man left the train. We moved again.  There was nothing  but the monotonous sound of the train. Four more stations to go and then a short walk home before I’d be with James  again. I thought back to our talk during lunch. ‘When will you be back? Don’t walk alone. Get a taxi, it is safer. I know you are a big girl. I want you safe. Promise.’ Well, here I was. Not in a taxi, but then again, this was a safe part of town. I could worry about the promise later. Nothing dangerous would happen here.

The train stopped again and I saw people in the lights of the station. The door opened and five young men entered. They were drunk. They were loud. They were rude. They were trouble. When you  see  such guys, you immediately know what they are. Even I do know that and James had warned me repeatedly. I remained calm. Looked into the darkness. “Hey you stupid whore!” They were real trouble. They were racists. The group of five had gathered around the only other passenger left, the little woman who I had assumed was from Pakistan or Afghanistan. I could see her, staring down, trying to hide from those louts. She never looked up or said a word. They were ridiculing her. Her skin, her language, though she never spoke. They poked her, started to harass her, touched her chest. She did not react and that was wrong. I could see those bastards triumphing over their helpless victim. It was unfair. They were five. They were strong. They were idiots and I hate idiots. And they harassed her and I knew how that felt. “Leave her alone! Leave her or I’ll call the police!” I heard myself shout. I stood up and did not know what to do now. Attention attention, the girl who talks first and thinks second is there again. I had not called the police yet and they would not give me that chance now.
The moment I stood up, there was complete silence. At least it felt like it. The train moved. They all turned into my direction. Even the little woman did. She showed relief for a moment, before her stare went blank again. She went into hiding from those brutes, as before. I felt as if I was alone with those guys now. Maybe that was true. “Eyh, that’s none of your business, c***!” Yes, I had their attention. “What are you, a f****** P**** whore friend?! I am gonna smash your face! F**** you, get lost or I’ll ****** you” What was that, now? They turned away from me? They really thought they had intimidated me. They had turned towards the little woman again and I took out my mobile and called the police as quietly as I could. Those guys were all around her and I could see that she was mortally afraid. “Stop that you bastards! I have called the police and they’ll be here any minute!”

I went closer. I did not feel anything I had expected to.  No hate, no fear, no worry. But I was no robot either. I thought about James. Now out of all moments, he was in my thoughts and I almost smiled, because he always had some proverb or motto at hand. Once he had said “Stand your ground” and it never left me again. This was all I needed. Those brutes did not know me and I’d be smashed to pieces in a minute, but I would not let them have their way with the little woman. I went to them and pushed my way through to her. They did not stop me, but pushed back and there was a lot of swearing from their side. I turned towards them again. Heard new disgusting insults and could smell this revolting mix of alcohol, cigarettes and sweat. Those critters were close to losing control completely. Five guys and two women. No way out, no help near. The police would not be here in time and we all knew that.  Those ruffians became louder and were already in a rage. It had not turned out the way they had wanted it to be. I had interfered and now I had fallen silent again and they’d bully the two of us or worse.

Suddenly there was one who swore and pushed me back, so that I fell onto my only friend in here. She froze in her seat, I could feel it, she was unable to cope with the situation. While I was so close to her, I could smell Jasmine. It was only a light scent, but I thought ‘It would be nice If that was her name.’ In all that noise around me, this was what I thought about. I never understood what the ruffians shouted at us, but I stood again and pushed back and became louder. “You bloody Nazi racists, is that all you can do?! Only out for the weak?! You are cowards. You don’t have the guts to choose one your size! Even my little sister is braver than you poor wimps. Go get yourself a life and don’t bother those who can’t defend. You are the most embarrassing…” Where did I get these words from?! At first it had worked. They had stopped, but only a second, before they started insulting me again. Maybe I should consider a career as a firestarter. It definitely worked here and I had heated up the situation more than ever. Really clever!
“Go for the f****** whore c****!” The next I felt was that I was pushed back again by some Mike, Michael or Mica, and he tried to poke into my breasts and pushed me back down. Back onto the little woman. She was still in shock. I cursed and came up again from the seat with her in it. “Stop that you asshole!” I pushed his hands away, tried to hit them, but he was too fast for that. They were cursing, because I was no victim like the other one and they pushed me back again. I swore at them, and grabbed the woman behind me, to get her up, into the direction of the door

‘We must get away! But where to?’ I thought. She followed, as I tried to push through the guys, but they would not let us pass. They made jokes, because we could not get away. I never want to be in situations where I have to fight physically, but I knew that I would have started a fight any second to get us out of this wagon. The guys were aggressive and harassed us, because I, as a single woman, had opposed them and told them what they were. And I could feel my frustration grow as I realized that I was not strong enough to push through those idiots and my little Jasmin behind me was no help either. Each of them was far taller than the two of us. Each of them looked as if they had all their brains in their arms and fists only. Each of them was out to play with us before they’d finally do worse than just harass us. I had my fists clenched. ‘Whatever will be will be; let me hit them at least once before they can knock me down.’ I felt the train become slower and slower. It was now or never. ‘I am not going to be the victim you idiots want me to be.’ I thought and was ready to strike, as suddenly the little woman pushed to the side, towards the door and pulled me away. As I turned, I pushed into the same direction. I only felt something hit me in the back, like fists and I staggered into my friend, thank god that had sent me into the direction of the door. It had not hurt too much, so I turned around and saw them laughing, drinking and heard the insults again. The door opened and we almost fell out of the wagon and went away from it. Our attackers remained inside, though they still tried to hit us with half emptied beer cans.  They had no intention to follow us and a short moment later the door closed, as we moved away from the platform. We went to the entrance and since there was a taxi-rank, I pulled her with me and we went into the last taxi that was left.

Her name was not Jasmine, too bad. She was grateful that I had tried to help her, although my actions had not helped her and maybe even made the situation worse. I don’t know. I was grateful that she was there and helped me, because things might have become worse than what we had experienced. We only had a short ride in the taxi and after she had left, I was driven home. James was already waiting and was not amused when he heard what had happened. I had been late, which was no problem, because I had returned home in one piece and uninjured. I had to make another call to the police and a good time later a police patrol came and had me report everything again.
I did not tell them what I had said to those five, because I am not proud of that. But I had seen no other way than being rude myself in that moment. Actually I had not thought about what insults left my mouth. I did not want to show weakness towards those five. And I still believe their reactions would have been worse if I had. Besides even though I felt shaken once it was over, there was nothing like panic when we were in the wagon and I am a little proud of that. It’s a personal success for me, just to know that I stood my ground.

Once the officers were gone again, I turned around to hubby, because I was fully aware of the fact that I had not done what he had told me to. ’If only I could be better when it counts’. Hubby took my hands and went upstairs with me. I knew I was in for it. No taxi, but underground. No safety, but a brawl. In the bedroom I was told to undress, though not in that strict and demanding way he’d use for punishment. He took me by my hand again and put me right into the bed. Not for punishment. “I am happy that you are here again, alive and unharmed.” Wow, that’s unexpected. We cuddled. “Forget the taxi. You know it was a mistake, I know it was a mistake. Never do that again, or else….” By the looks in his face, I wouldn’t sit for a year, if I ever pulled that stunt again. “I am very proud of you. You did the right thing, luv.” This was the moment where I could not  do anything but cry. I did not get a punishment and instead James had said that I had done the right thing. He was proud. I loved him so much because he had said that and I felt so much relief. All my pent up emotions had waited for this moment only. I could not stop crying for a long time, James was there for me and  held me, showed how much he cared. I could virtually see all sorts of feelings parade through my body and leave me behind relaxed and relieved. I could virtually see frustration, anger, fear, insecurity, doubts, helplessness, guilt, shame and many more, before finally joy was almost the only feeling I had, once all others were gone.
What we did next does not matter now, but it felt fantastic and the following evening we had a nice dinner in one my favourite restaurants.

None of these five louts got caught. They were gone before the police had been there. I have seen ‘Jasmine’ one more time on a train but we have had no further contact otherwise.

(James: I changed hubby’s name, when I think about him, I do so in connection with his first name or Master most  times
Sorry for the rude language. I really had thought about using *** all the time, but it really looked silly. Besides, those guys used these expressions and many more on us and I think I have already reduced the number of these to a minimum)

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