The sun had just lowered below the horizon, blanketing the city in a sheet of darkness. My arms were overloaded from the successful shopping trip I had just taken into the city and starting to strain and hurt from the weight after the long train trip back into the suburbs where we were staying.
Fumbling for my key in my handbag amidst the crinkling bags, I struggled through the door and finally unceremoniously dumped my loot on the lounge. Seeing the bags flop and fan out in a circle symbolising a hard days work, I smiled satisfactorily. A job well done!
Looking around me, I realised the apartment was quiet for once. When there were ten people staying together, one never expects quiet! Finally I spotted them all having drinks out on the far corner of the balcony before heading out for the night. Turning, I headed back into the kitchen to grab my own concoction and join the party; ready to regale everyone with the successful expedition of my shopping trip and solo navigation of the city’s public transport routes.
I froze at the intrusive sound behind me. What was that? I sounded like a camera flash.
Click click click click click.
As I turned around the investigate, the sound became more frantic. Looking towards the corner of the room I saw an older man with a camera raised to his face, capturing my every move. Uneasy, I stared at him as he continued to shoot away.
“What the hell are you doing?” I asked, trying to keep the tremor out of my voice that threatened to break through.
Mute and unwavering in his incessant clicking, the man continued on.
“Stop it!” I cried, the shrill tone of my voice starting to betray the fear I was feeling.
Unwavering, his pudgy finger continued to depress the wretched camera button.
“STOP IT!” I screamed this time, making my way towards him quickly as he continued to shoot shots of my face as it came closer and closer towards him. Grabbing the camera from his hands I threw it against the wall, taking delight at the audible crack that rang through the air. Visible rage filled the mans eyes, and I shrunk back, all of a sudden second guessing my ability to take him on alone.
Pondering my next move as this deceivingly small man towered over me, I breathed a sigh of relief as the sliding door to the balcony slid open and Ryan’s voice boomed behind me.
“Who the fuck are you?” He yelled, making his way across the room in a few short strides. Grabbing the man by the scruff of his collar, Ryan shoved him violently against the wall. Watching intently, I waited to see what would happen.
Before he could throw the first punch, Rebecca came through the door screaming for Ryan to put him down. As the others made flocked into the room, the man managed to sneak out. Screaming in frustration, I sank to the floor as what had just happened started to sink in.
Ryan made his way over to where the offending camera lay still and quiet against the beige carpet. As he flicked through the images, scowling in displeasure, I realised my proud throw hadn’t been such a big shining moment that I’d thought it was.
Shaking as Ryan put his arms around me, I started crying. “Shhh” he murmured into my hair. “It’ll be ok now. Let’s just get out of here for now, get you away for the night.”
Nodding in acquiesce, I let him lift me and lead me out of the room.
After three train trips, a bus ride and a fair walk, we finally reached Ryan’s place. Moving into the lounge room, he settled me into the couch and told me he would be right back. Still reeling from what had happened at the apartment, I sat back and closed my eyes, hoping some form of relaxation or sleep would grab me and help calm my frayed nerves.
Light as a feather, fingertips whispered across my thigh.
“Stop Ryan, that’s not funny.” I mumbled through the encroaching darkness of sleep.
More determined and incessant in their strokes, the fingertips moved up and across my thigh.
Shooting up, I opened my eyes to see the seedy camera man hunched on top of me.
Screaming, I struggled with my life as he lay on top of me and attempted to hold me down as his hands roamed my body.
Racing into the room, Ryan grabbed him, throwing clean across the room in a fit of rage. I cowered as I watched him beat, kick and disparage the man, taking some form of reverence in the arc of crimson blood that had sprayed clean across the white wall.
Leaving the unconscious, bloody mess of the man on the floor, Ryan made his way back over to me quickly, pulling me into his arms once again.
“This time he’ll be gone.” He promised.
Photo credit: http://www.photobizcoach.com/wp-content/uploads/bigstock-Press-Paparazzi-holding-camera-25171373.jpg