Steps Along My Path

She could see her shadow in the moonlight as she walked along the long pathway. A breeze was blowing, moving the leaves of the trees, and along the path, grapevines grew up the walls and around the entry of the old houses.

She saw the wooden doors with their two signs: one heavy and long, about 10 centimeters; the other light and circle shaped. The heavy one was for men to knock, and the light one for women. That way the owner of the house could easily know who was knocking, man or woman, by the sound. It was important for women to know because they had to wear hejab.

Everywhere was in a peaceful silence as she thought to herself: “This world is just like this path, everyone comes across it. Some people step fast and some slow. However, both should pass this way. It has ups and downs, dark and light. Like a real life, sorrow and happiness, loss and victory.”

As she walked, looking ahead along the path, she heard the sound of strange steps coming behind her. She worried to herself, “Who is that? Is it a male or a female? If it is a man and he tries to bother me what should I do? Should I yell? But no one is here to help me. All of them are in their houses. How  can they hear my voice?”

She moved to the other side of the path. Now she could see a tall person in a long coat. She counted the steps coming closer and faster. No sound of heels. So it must be a man.

“I don’t care,” she told herself. “This is the path everyone crosses. I am in my way and he is in his way.”

As it became darker, the steps came closer. She tried to walk faster and with longer steps, telling herself, “I can think of beautiful life, trees and nature, but this sound has me worried. If he tries to come near me I will kick him! I am a strong girl and I will beat him.”

She stepped faster and his steps became faster too. Now she could hear the sound of his keys hanging on his pants. Fast, fast and faster. But her steps were shorter. She could not defeat him. He was about six meters away. “Oh my God, what should I do now? Should I look at him again?”

Her heart beat fast. “What was it? A fear! Was it fear of a man and being harassed by him?” The steps became closer. “I want to look at him. How dare he follow me! If I am a girl it does not mean I should be silent and not say anything to him. I will hit him with my bag full of books, heavy ones too. When I hit him with it, he will die.”

She took a deep breath and was about to turn and look when she heard her name: Naazgol. It was a familiar sound. She turned and saw her brother. “Oh my God, why do you do this with me? I was dying in fear of who is following me.”

Her brother smiled and said, “I did not want to call you from a distance because you might not hear me. I thought it would be better to walk fast and catch you. How was school today?”

“I told you night school is not good for you. When you come home it will be late. You see, you are even scared of me,” he said, smiling.

“It is okay,” she said. “Everything has its own ups and downs. The people who are successful can struggle with problems.” Together they walked the rest of the way, laughing and talking along the  path to their house.

By Rahela


Comments

  1. Hi,

    I am a writer too. I write fantasy and horror stories. I enjoyed reading your work. I found this blog from FuelMyBlog and was drawn in by all the strong women writing on here. Keep it up!

    -Nora

  2. Rahela,

    You did a good job of setting the tone for this story. You use a lot of good imagery and readers can imagine themselves in your situation. Nice work.

  3. Ann Gambles says:

    Such illuminating choice of detail – the two knockers summing up what a different way of life. Thank you
    Ann

  4. Debra D. says:

    Rahela, your essay is incredibly descriptive and draws a picture for the reader instantly. This is a difficult task to accomplish when writing but you pull it off effortlessly. I enjoyed your piece and could feel my heart racing as your main character’s worry grew during her walk home. I look forward to reading more of your pieces and seeing what other images you can create with your words.

  5. Brianna D. says:

    Rahela, I really enjoyed your writing! The imagery in the beginning set the scene. I especially liked how you said the girl could see her shadow in the moonlight and the thought about the world as a path! I got kind of nervous when the stranger was following, so you built suspense well! Keep up the good work, you are doing a great job of both informing and entertaining readers!

  6. Blythe D. says:

    This is a very interesting short story! The fears, the questions of gender, and the suspense are all very effective and good. I’m not sure if you did it on purpose or not, but the first few sentences contained a lot of repeated sounds–for instance, several “s” sounds in a row or several “ee” sounds. This makes the writing flow and sound very beautiful.

  7. BoarFace says:

    I was not expecting the man to be her brother! This is a really good little story, it reminds me of a series of detective books I used to read. (Probably from the suspense.) I like that the character is strong and obstinate, its inspiring. Good job, keep writing!

  8. You are an amazing writer. I think you have discovered a passion. You must write more, share all of your stories with the world. My heart was beating as I read deeper and deeper into the story. My breath stopped as your brother caught up to you. I was afraid for you, yet it turned out to be not a threat. I praise your writing, I am going to read all of it. Keep writing!

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