Bodies (11)

I’ve seen this road before, in broad daylight. Has it only been a couple of hours ago? I guess so. But it feels far away, like a childhood tale that comes back to torment you once you’re grown up and defenceless.
It’s a night for hunters, out there. Clouds have drifted in from the sea, enclosing the coastline in stale moistness. I’m searching for the moon, a lonesome star, the comforting sign of something immortal, but I only detect a twinkling light in the distance, probably an oil lamp someone has lit in a mountain hut. It flickers like a ghostly eye.
The fuzzy light cones of the car’s dipped headlamps move over the roadside, a flurry of pale white pine-trees and insubstantial shrub leaning into our scant field of view. Their branches, gnarled demons with branches like menacing arms, slap on the old Twingo’s metallic structure. The road goes on and on, curls and coils like a snake trying to bite its own tail.
I don’t know how fast we go. And I’ve lost all notion of time. Both clock and speedometer don’t work. But it must be late. And we’re going fast. Way too fast, given the conditions. The tires screech, the brakes squeak, we take the bends more or less by guesswork, my stomach is knotted, my muscles start to ache with the effort to remain on my seat.
It’s as if Hazim didn’t want us to reach our destination. Wherever that is, anyway.
A dark and desolate place, no doubt.
The present has become a twisted situation, a glided pitch. And there’s nothing to save me from the gliding feeling. Everything looks different and warped.
We look different, too, Hazim and I. When he came back to my room, he was wearing a set of ridiculous clothes, and he brought me a similar outfit. I had to undress, then disguise. And now, we resemble two retarded teenagers, clad in tight, flashy tees and boardshorts. I particularly resent the baseball cap he forced me to don. But I know better than to protest.
I can’t ask any questions either. Just my luck. Because for once, I’d have a lot of questions. And for once, I’d like to get answers to them.
But Hazim remains tight-lipped, withdrawn and uncommunicative. When we left Hiçbiryerde, he gave somebody a ring. They spoke in Turkish, all I understood was here a “Hayır”, there “Evet”, and “Teşekkürler! Hoşça kal!” at the end.
He hasn’t said a word ever since, ignoring me.
Where are we going? I’ve recognized this road, so I know we don’t head for the airport. But why? Why are we on this particular road again? If I’m in danger, as he said, why does Hazim prevent me from hopping into the first available plane and leave this country as fast as possible? What is the danger he’s been talking about, anyway? Why didn’t he allow me to take anything but my cash and my passport? Why didn’t he want me to look for my credit card? Why has he made me switch off my mobile? Why that ghastly scene in the hooker bar? Why did he think those guys were out to get me?
All my questions lead to the most tantalizing, the most worrying one, the Queen of questions: what the fuck is going on?
“Whose car is this?” I finally ask. It seems the most innocent question; the one that could help me break the ice and initialize some kind of dialogue. I’m feeling too lonely right now to bear with silence.
But I get no answer. All I get is the eerie night around us, with its spectral trees, the silhouettes of the mountains standing dark and unfriendly against the dark sky, the sea shimmering like a silver plate down below. And that ever-changing, yet ever-same, narrow piece of greyish asphalt rolling through the headlamps’ light and disappearing under the car.
Me asking questions, Hazim not answering… it’s all so déjà vu! I sigh and mumble, “There we go again…”
Which decides Hazim to finally talk. “It’s a car Murat’s wife uses when she wants to roam the region without anybody noticing,” he says. “And we’re wearing some spare clothes that belong to one of Murat’s sons. I didn’t want us to be recognized.”
“Oh. Murat has a wife. And sons,” I murmur.
“You didn’t know it?”
I shake my head.
“You do know who he is, at least? Murat, I mean…”
“Well, he’s that rich guy from Turkey. Do I have to know more?”
Incredulous, Hazim peers at me. Then he grips the wheel harder. “I don’t get it,” he says, his voice toneless. “Aren’t you interested in people at all? Even if it’s a basic security rule to know who you’re dealing with…?”
“I didn’t have to worry about my security until now,” I snap. “And don’t you go all judgemental on me again! Who gives you the right—!”
“Do me a favour and shut up! Just shut the fuck up, okay!” Hazim interrupts me. His voice is flat and devoid of anger.
I flinch and lean away from him. I find it easier to study the void darkness outside. Easier to remain in my lonesome exile.
I should’ve known. Others never give you answers. They only give you more questions.

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