The Enemy

"It is a cold night," she thought. So she took her big white scarf and tightly wrapped it around her shoulders while stepping out of her tent. It is almost 2:00 AM and everybody is asleep inside their tents in that camp on the seashore. In her morning walk she noticed a huge, shapeless rock on the shore almost 50 meters away from their camp and she thought she'd go there at night for some peaceful solitude. The sky was not clear. The moon was struggling to look at her from behind huge grey clouds. She loved the sky when it was full of clouds. For her, a sky with no cloud was like a sea with no waves, or a night with no stars … too plain. She walked for almost ten minutes before reaching that rock. She sat down and rested her exhausted back and head on the cold rock. She thought of him. An audible sigh escaped her parted lips when she leaned a bit forward holding her knees to her chest. How beautiful the sea at night was! How simple its beauty was! She took a deep breath of that fresh air enjoying the tiny splashes the sea sent greeting his night visitor. She always loved that salty taste on her lips and deemed it more delicious than honey. She looked at the beautiful sea before her whispering: "What are you hiding for me?" She closed her eyes and listened attentively to what the waves were telling her.

"Hey!" She startled and looked at the source of the voice to see him standing there with his hands in his sweater pockets. "I saw you leaving the camp. I thought of giving you some privacy but then couldn't resist coming here for a night chat". Her smile was more than enough for him to know he was welcome. He sat near her. She started shivering beneath her white scarf. "Are you alright?" he sounded concerned. She hid the lower half of her face with her scarf while saying: "It is a cold night!" He narrowed his eyes and said: "But you love cold nights". She did not answer. He respected her silence. He drew back a bit leaning on his hands and looking at her. What a creature! He wondered why he fell in love with her… maybe because of all the contradictions she had; her simplicity and complexity, her sweetness and cruelty, her kindness and rage. He could feel fire and ice inside her, and neither could conquer the other. But what really drew him to her like a bewitched creature is the contradiction between her outer strength and inner fragility. She always talked with a raised chin and firm lips. But he knew deep inside she was just an insecure child looking for a safe shelter but her dignity wouldn't let her admit it. She always screamed "I am strong" just to hide a whisper of "keep me safe".

He looked at those long locks of black hair softly swaying behind her small head and was about to entangle his fingers in them when she suddenly stood up as if she sensed his move. "I think I've got enough coldness tonight", she said with a faint smile. He stood up too shaking his trousers off the soft sands. She started moving towards the camp when he stopped her by grapping her arm to force her to face him. The change in her head direction sent a few hair locks in front of her face but she shook them back by a wave of her head. How much he loved her when she waved her head like that! She looked at him with questioning eyes. "What is wrong?" he asked her, "you seem so distant and you are avoiding me for quite some time." She lowered her head and said with a shaking voice: "I am exhausted. Can we talk about this tomorrow?" "No!" he said it firmly in a tone indicating there was no point of trying to evade answering his question. "I…" she started with hesitant voice, "I… don't know! It seems that we… we… I mean… there are a lot of obstacles…. I didn't want to …. I ….  Why did you … come that close? If things do not work out…. I… I… why does it look like as if the whole world is fighting us? Why… did I ever know you?" She was breathless after the rush of words that revealed the struggle inside her. "Look at me!" he said with a tender voice. She kept her gaze fixed on that tick on his shirt. "Look at me!" he said it again with a firmer yet soft voice. She raised her eyes to look at his. He could see it all in there… the battle she's fighting alone… the moon and the clouds… and they all looked shiny behind a thin layer of young tears. "I will fight for you", he held her face in his hands, "I will fight the whole world for you." She could take his fixed gaze on her no more so she closed her eyes to feel two thin salty streams digging their ways along her cheeks. "Oh, God!" she heard him say it in amazement. It was the first time he saw her crying. The realization that she was actually crying before him made her lose all control. Her tears turned into floods of long suppressed rivers, and her silence turned into audible sobs. She felt so vulnerable… like a mermaid dragging two frail legs that she did not know how to use. His arms gently slipped to her back to draw her closer to him. "No, don't!" she said among her sobs but he ignored her objections. She was grateful he did. She clanged to his sweater in hope for shelter. He held her even tighter leaning his chin on her dark hair and tenderly patting her head. He could sense from her grip over his sweater how much she needed him. He knew that the only way he could take away her insecurities and fear is to keep close to her… let her know he was there… persisting on knocking all her walls down. She stopped her sobs and pushed him a few inches away to look at his eyes and said: "You said you'd fight for me?" He nodded. She looked at him with eyes full of hope and despair at the same time "will you fight me for me?" He sighed, smiled and pushed a hair lock away from her wet cheek. He did not answer. Instead, he pressed his lips assuredly to her forehead as if sealing the declaration of the start of war. She closed her eyes pitying him for the battles he has to go through; battles against the world for their love to win over. She would be next to him in this battle. But there was one he had to carry on alone, a battle against their greatest enemy… the enemy that lied in his arms right now. She rested her exhausted body against his, wondering if he would ever defeat that fierce enemy!



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