The experience of a girl being raped by the police forces in Iran
The streets were in an unsolved chaotic traffic jam, and the cars have been stuck in their place for almost an hour; the sun was burning everywhere like a fire in the middle of a jungle and the heat on the car’s bodies, and the engines was hard to tolerate. Jenna tried to cool herself with a piece of paper, Alex looked so tired staring at the cars across the street, a big frown on his forehead. The voice of horns, shouting and impatient reactions on people faces make him angry.
” I don’t understand what happened? We are here for more than 45min!” he said.
“Finally! Mr. big Alex is impatient! See! There are some situations hard to stand!” she giggled.
” Jenna, I’m not in a good mood, the hot weather always irritates me!” he replied without turning his head to her.
” I didn’t ask you to come; you chose it yourself!” she said, meanwhile her phone rang. A little girl tried to catch his eyes, showed her pink tongue; Alex smiled and showed his tongue too. The girl frowned to him.
“Alex, we can’t have hamburger today!” she said.
“What do you mean? Stingy!” he replied and watched her green eyes, which shined like sun.
”Someone from the Human Rights office called and said they are ready to have an interview in one hour! We should go there first!” she replied.
”That’s ok!” he smiled; she asked the driver to change his destination. The driver tried to turn in a lane and after 15min attempting, he succeeded to escape the traffic. There were so many police forces in the streets, big green – white vans, Police Benzes, Black prison cars and so many forces in anti-riot clothes spread in all the streets. People looked so scary while crossing next to them; they avoided being shown there; you could see rare cars and people in this area.
“I don’t know why they are everywhere?” she asked.
”Because of the riots!” he said.
”But there is nobody here!” she wondered.
”Maybe they arrested everyone,” she added,” excuse me sir, why there are so many police forces in the streets?”She asked the driver; he looked at her through the mirror.
”You don’t know? In satellite channels, they announced everybody to come to the streets.” He replied.
”You mean, the green movement?!” She asked.
”Yes, those jobless people who call their funny games, green movement! They just want to stop us from earning some money!” the driver murmured; she stopped talking and watched the rows of the police. They were in any kind of clothes, spotted, commando, dark , they were tall, well-built and scary; Some had black masks on their faces, the other hard hat.
“Iran’s police are so scary; they look like serial killer in Psycho movie. I’ve never seen any police forces like this!” she was amazed.
”All the police forces are the same,” he replied.
”Yeah, but these are strange, those in black are so huge, like ogres!” she said and Alex laugh out loud.
The office was located in a pretty neighborhood close to the Alborz Mountains, in a wide Boulevard which a channel separated it in two parts, full of tall green trees that made the atmosphere cool. The office door was open; they entered, and the secretary invited them in with a beautiful smile. Alex grinned and looked happier.
“Welcome, please follow me, Mrs.Foroughi is expecting you” She asked and showed them the room. The room was big, covered with bookcase full of books, a Persian carpet on the ground and a beautiful elder woman sat behind a desk, standing when she saw them.
“Welcome, bienvenue. Have a sit please Madam et Monsieur.” She offered big brown leather sofa, they both sat. Alex was looking for the secretary,” I’m so pleased to have you here Madam Meisurri. I met your mother twice while I was in Paris; you were an elementary school girl who time! She was a great woman. I really feel sympathetic how hard it is to lose such loved one!” she expressed; Jenna sighed.
”Thanks Mrs.Foroughi for your empathy.” She said,”ok, can we start our interview?” she asked.
”Of course! But please help yourselves first,” she showed the fruits and sweets on the table.
”Thanks,” she said and took a small sweet,” well, Alex! Would you please start your video capturing?” she asked.
“Oh! Well, yes!” he jumped.
”Look like your co-worker looking for my secretary!” Mrs.Foroughi said and smile.
”Yeah, he has a passion for Persian girls!” she giggled, and the interview has started.
“As you know, you know Mrs. Shirin Ebadi established this office and the aim of starting it in her point of view is; the authorities have for years arrested and tried their opponents on politically motivated illegal charges such as possession of alcohol or drugs and illegal possession of arms, and they have imprisoned lawyers and journalists, some of them her colleagues, on such trumped-up charges. Given the sharp rise in executions, the lack of transparency in the Iranian judicial system and recent changes in the narcotics law, there is a great danger that authorities will use ordinary criminal charges to sentence opponents to death. So based on this idea we decided to start working officially in human rights case in Iran” She said, “In addition, the Revolutionary Courts hold most of their trials behind closed doors, despite a requirement under Article 168 of the Iranian Constitution that trials for "political" and "press" offences should be open. In many cases, such as Zahra Bahrami's, lawyers of those sentenced to death are informed of their clients' executions only after they have taken place, despite the legal requirement for 48 hours' notice” She added,” Iran has made consistent efforts to obstruct scrutiny of the situation in the country by international human rights mechanisms over the past five years. In light of that record, Shirin Ebadi and the organizations called on other nations to take advantage of the forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council to appoint a special envoy of the UN Secretary-General with a mandate to investigate and report on human rights conditions in Iran.” She explained.
”So, you’re goal is to perform Human Rights acts in such situation?” Jenna asked.
”Exactly! However, we have so many limitations here, and after the election and the situation you’re seeing in the foreground, they force us to close the office, but we are trying our best to work in such a hard condition. As Shirin believes; the Iranian authorities have shown that they are no longer content to repress those contesting the re-election of Mahmud Ahmadinejad by arresting and convicting them - they have shown they will now resort to execution. They are using the familiar tactic of carrying out political executions at the same time as mass executions of prisoners convicted of criminal offences. These executions may increase if the world is silent,” she said and shook her head, “I can say, Iran executes more people than any country other than China. The hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners currently on death row may include more than 140 who were under the age of 18 at the time they allegedly committed their offence. International law prohibits the execution of persons for offences that they committed while under 18” She announced,” According to law, prison authorities are responsible for the life and health of each prisoner,” she added,” The Campaign has the names of 19 people who have been killed by government forces. Here’s the list” she said and gave a piece of paper to Jenna," The list meanwhile includes the names of 242 detainees, including 121 political personalities, 25 journalists, nine professors, and 87 students. These are prominent personalities who have been detained at their homes or places of work by unidentified agents and taken to undisclosed locations. They are mostly held in incommunicado detention and have no access to legal counsel.” She acknowledged.
”It’s horrible, unbelievable. “Jenna uttered.
”I should add that you should take care of yourselves too. Everybody is in danger here. We heard that there are some foreigners inside the prison too, so you are not safe at all.” She told Jenna.
”Nothing is safe in Iran, Mrs.Foroughi. I am here to know about everything. I’ve never been in Iran. However, my parents were born and raised in this country, but I’ve never even known myself as a Persian. Now, I feel so guilty. There are so many people – same age as me and even younger – in prison, tortured, died, and I just was joyful for being a French civilized happy girl.” She murmured.
”Don’t worry my daughter! Iran will be free again; we do our best, together to help ourselves to change the situation in Iran. Unfortunately, without any blood, there’s no freedom, as you know, the same happened in the Great Revolution of France” She said,” right, is it ok to finish our interview today?” she asked.
”Of course, thanks Mrs.Foroughi for your help. Hope to see you soon,” Jenna stood waiting for Alex to pack his stuff.
”Well, my dears, would you honor me to have launch together?” she asked, Jenna smiles.
”The honor is ours!” she replied.
“If someone asks me what I loved about Iran, I would say Chelo Kebobs ” Alex said after they had the launch with Mrs.Foroughi and said her goodbye.
”Yes, I could guess that! What else could you suggest?” she replied.
”Girls!” he smiled.
”Nothing more?” she asked.
“Well, I’m not sure! We have to check it!” he said.
”Um, I’ve heard there’s an old Bazaar on the north of the city, called Tajrish Bazaar . Would you like to check that?” she asked.
”Sure, I have Kebob in my stomach, a Persian girl next to me and a Bazaar to photograph! Let’s do it gurl!” he winked.
Tajrish Square was very busy; bus terminals, cab terminals, and shopping malls, you could find stores of Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel, Mont Blanc, Dior, Diesel S.p.A., Zara, Guess, banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, and several other designer stores. The square was where Valiasr Street originated along with Farmaniye Street, one of the most important streets in Tehran. She was eagerly watching everything around the square; people who walked so fast across each other; boys and girls hanged to each other’s arms, children who were selling flowers and other stuff, woman who was begging for money, the Taxi drivers were shouting to attract passengers.
“I think Tajrish is the junction of streets that lead to the northern parts of Tehran. Here, nobody looks angry about government! They don’t even care about the middle parts of the city, where youngsters are arresting by police just because of their right!” she said sadly.
”I believe so! I don’t know why! I think there’s a deep cleavage between southern and northern part of the city! People who have money to spend on famous labeled clothes! What a shame!” he agreed.
”It’s where SaadAbad-Palace is located; I like to visit that once before we go back to France.” She said.
”Yeah, we can do it tomorrow.” He said.
”Ok” she smiled and held his hand firmly.
The entrance of the Tajrish Bazaar was a small gate leaded to a tunnel like corridor. The ceiling was like a big arc holding so many doves inside and the light, in a diagonal shape, shined through the muggy glass on the roof inside, the dust swirling slowly glowed like gold through those pieces of light. As soon as they entered the Bazaar, smell of spices, sweet, raw leather and aged walls filled their lungs and brought beautiful joy on their faces. The old Bazaar looked so mysterious, like you could see Aladdin jumping place to place, or a Persian carpet flying in the air; the ancient decoration, material and architecture caused such joy. Alex brought out his camera and start shooting everything; he wanted to capture every single thing he saw, old men and women, Afghan guys, the sacks of vivid spices, Saffron, Pistachio, the design of hundred Persian carpets that rolled in the carpet shops, colorful sparkling traditional clothes, pile of shoes in front of the shoe stores; little girls played hide and seek, the light that moved slowly like golden columns in the middle of bazaar. He adored photographing senile bazaars, people and their actions. It was where he did not care about anything but photography.
Jenna just was watching his walking, act and reacting, the joy he had while he took a shot of a little girl in Islamic clothes. His broad shoulders that moved slowly, his brown eyes were shining under soft light, his lips and teeth while he smiled to the people, his tall athletic legs and cute back, his manly hands, those dark veins on his forearm. She got close to him; put his hand on those veins.
”Alex, we are spending more than two hours here, isn’t it enough? I need to rest a while. I’m tried!” she asked; he turned to her.
”If you like, you can go!” he said, she breathed deeply.
“But I wanna go with you!” she said. He stood in front of her, hands on his waist; Camera hanged around his neck, smile upon his lips and stared at those naughty green eyes.
”I love to spend here till the dinner time! I’ll see you then!” he replied.
”But Alex, I like to go with you! You know what I mean?!” She insisted; Alex curved his right eyebrow.
”No, I don’t!” he replied.
”Ok! I won’t ask you for sex anymore!” she sputtered and walked away, Alex grabbed her arm.
”We can’t do it here! It’s Iran. They won’t let us spend time alone together in the same room!” he explained.
”Who cares?! I want to be with you!” she said.
”Sweet! It’s your country’s rule! You should’ve known it already!” he mentioned.
”Ok, Alex! I don’t need it anymore!” she said and tried to continue her way, but he did not let her go.
”Jenna! We should talk about it!” he said seriously.
”Talk about Islamic rule? I don’t have any interest for that!” she replied.
”Don’t play dumb! I’m talking about our relationship! I like you, and it’s been four years I’ve never met any girls but you. Then, you just ask for sex anytime you want without thinking about me!” he said.
”Thinking about you? It means you didn’t want sex?!” She taunted.
”No, I wanted it for sure, but the matter is that I need to know what do you think about me? Who I am in your life? Just a sex partner? Can we go steady then? I want to have you as my girlfriend! It’s not enough to have sex and nothing else! I need love, do you understand?” he complained.
”What’s the problem then? Huh? We are just friends and co-workers. That’s all!”She answered.
”That’s all, yeah? So can you tell me what the sex role is?” he questioned.
”It’s just physical Alex!” she said and he sighed.
”Don't ride the high horse! I am 36 now, need a real relationship. A serious one, if you don’t care about me, I do. “He said.
”My foot! Ok! Go on! Find a girl of your dreams! I can’t be your partner! You’re not my type!” she countered.
”But why? We have so many things in common; we are with each other for four years; we spend more our free times together, have great sex, why not start a real relationship. I like you so much; sometimes I think I love you Jenna. “He confessed.
”Duh! You don’t know what you’re talking about! Our relationship was physical, not rational or emotional! I don’t have any passion for you Alex. Not even for sex anymore!” she said and pulled her arm out of his hand; he held it again and Jenna pushed him away,” Don't pick on me! I need to be alone!” she said angrily and gone.
She looked very infuriated, “over my dead body! Be your girlfriend?” she whispered to herself while passing people off the pavement. “Am I insane? I can’t even imagine having any passion but sex for him! How could he tell me he loved me? How dare!” she thought furiously. The evening was almost cooler, but was more crowded and traffic. She decided to take a taxi to go back to hotel and rest before dinner. After a while, waiting across the street, the red light changed to green and cars started to move slowly, she saw two girls, in tight jeans, short manteau , lousy scarves that barely hid their blonde hair and heavy makeup which sat in an expensive car and smoking freely. Jenna wished for one of those cigarettes, smiled to them while their car passed her. Judge the freedom in Iran only by the way people look in the streets is not a good way; it might seem to implicate more freedom, yet it is only superficial freedom, as I call it. So, maybe you can go out looking like that, it surely can have influence in your life. You might, for example; unable to get the job you want just because you had seen outside and had been wearing “too much make-up and too tight and short a manteau”. As you see, it is being used as an excuse not to hire females or decide to take on other females; it’s so much for freedom. As much as she waited to take a lemon cab, expensive cars in a row, horned for her and ask where she goes, and she was wondered if they are cab or something, and finally, when she waited for half an hour to see a yellow cab, she decided to take one of those luxurious cars.
The young man brutally smiled “where do you go beautiful?” he asked.
“I go to Hotel Tehran” she said.
“Hop in sexy!” he said.
She paused some seconds,” why he is talking like this?” she asked herself,” Oh! My lord!” she looked so amazed,” what am I doing?” she asked herself. The cars behind him barking and horning crazily. Jenna ran to the pavement; her heart was beating like a little bird.” He thought I was a prostitute!” she laid to the wall, and the man still was calling her with a loud voice. She started to walk, wanted to get rid of him; People looked at her in a strange way. As far as she walked the man moved forward slowly and still begged for her. “How may I get rid of this ass-hole?!” She wondered, happily saw a police car parked across the street and ran to it. Two polices sat in the car; she looked behind and saw the luxurious car still following her.
”Hi, I need help sir!” she asked the policeman who had dark full beard sat next to the driver.
”What are these clothes? “He asked angrily.
Jenna scared,” I need help sir; someone is following me!” she pleaded.
“I should arrest you for these odd colorful clothes, cover your hair! Idiot!” he shouted.
Jenna’s mouth was dry, felt so insecure and lonely; the man in the expensive car still waited for her, and the police wanted to arrest her. She should make a sudden decision; get in the luxurious car or let the police arrest her! She could not decide easily, “there should be a third choice always!” she thought. The police man got out of the car.
“Get in! You should go to police station!” he yelled; people watched her while walking with irony looks.
“But I just needed help. That man if following me!” she pointed to the luxurious car.
“He’s right! If I was in place of him, I would do the same! Have you looked at yourself before coming out of the house? You’re almost naked! Get in loony! In the police station, you will learn how to wear like a human!” he shouted crazily. She hesitated to get in the police car, but she knew if she ignored, everything will be worse, so she tried to find the third way. She pretended to get in the car and when he turned back to get in his place, she started to run. The policeman first was shocked, but start calling and yelling immediately and she felt he was following her, but she wanted not to stop. She was running like a wild horse in a wide green plain, felt like she was flying freely and there is no one looking at her as a criminal and no noise to make her headache. She moved quickly through the population, did not care about people who glanced angrily to her and the police that were shouting to arrest her. She knew there are some people following the police order; hence, she turned right to a dark lane. The echo of her footstep’s sound was heard through the tomb like walls mixed with cats where moaning; she was almost at the end of the lane when the police and the group of men entered the lane, crept through a door entrance and hid. She could hear her heartbeats, tried to control breathing and waited. They refrained to enter the lane, maybe they thought she is not there. She sat on the stairs, put her head on her knees and smiled. She loved escaping from police forces and it was not her first time; she was a journalist and she knew how to do it well.
Alex was waited in the lobby, focused worryingly on the entry about Jenna, and as soon as she entered the lobby, he walked to her.
“Where were you? Huh? “He asked.
“You’re questioning me?” she gave him an eagle look.
“No, I just was waiting here for two hours; I was worry about you! What’s with you gurl?” he said.
She glared at him,” I escaped some polices,” she smiled victoriously.
“What the …! What did you do? Why?”He was shocked.
“It has a long story; they wanted to arrest me for my clothes “She explained.
“Your clothes? What do you mean?” he asked.
“You know what! They told me I’m naked!” she laughed flirtatiously and span,” look how sexy is my lingerie?”
He looked pleased,” really? I see! You’re absolutely sexy in that rice sack!” he laughed.
“Ok, that’s enough! You watched my sexy body for a while, did you have dinner?” she asked.
“No, my stomach’s growling!” he said.
They went to the Hotel restaurant, in the basement. Alex chose some beef skewers as a starter that was pinned to a piece of pineapple, which was just very well combined with the beef, then had some sort of lasagne with shrimps and finally, a strawberry mousse. He was eating fast, one by one without talking about anything. Jenna just ordered a vegetable soup and tasted it slowly that when Alex finished his meal, she was still playing with her soup.
“Ah! I was really hungry!” he burped.
“You’re a lion!” she said.
“Then be my rabbit tonight!” he taunted.
She gazed at him, put a piece of bread soaked in soup in her mouth,” you dream about that!” she said.
“It’s what you want, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Not anymore! I don’t wanna do it one more time with you!” she replied and drank some water.
“You’re really serious? I mean, um – “he paused.
“About what?” she asked. He watched her while eating. Her pink lips moved slowly through her olive skin, like a lotus in a bowl of water.
“You don’t love me, right?” he asked.
“Don’t pick on me Alex! You know we are just friends!” she said and finished her soup,” I wanna go to my room. Need some sleep! I’m dog tired!” she said.
“Please wait for a while! I need to talk to you!” he begged.
She obeyed,” ok. We should talk; you’re right! We have to finish talking about it! I don’t love you; I can’t be your girlfriend and please don’t ruin our friendship because of such a weird sudden idea!” she stated.
“Ok! I wanted to say the same thing. I just wanted to propose you going steady. I need to find a soul mate, hate sex without love. So, I wanted to be sure that you don’t have any passion for me!” he said. Jenna smirked and stood to go to her room.
“I see! Please yourself!” she winked and left the table. Alex watched her while she was walking up the stairs, her plumped bottom, curved waist, and sexy movements induced him. “Damn! I should find a Persian girl!” he alleged.
The tall Milad Tower was hidden under the pollution fog, and Jenna could not see the top through the window. She moved through the corridor with a bunch of colorful wild flowers into her hand, waiting for the appointment time to see the old man who Haj Nasrollah talked about. The smell of alcohol, wet bed sheets, blood and sickness spread all over the waiting hall. There were lots of people there, all the seats were full, and she barely could walk easily among them. It was 3 P.M when they let people visit their patients. Jenna waited some more minutes; she knew that he has a family, and they need private time with their father. After almost one-hour waiting, she went to second floor; room 202. The room was big, six beds full of patients and their visitors all around; the walls were pale green, and sun light harshly came through the huge window at the center wall between the beds. She walked in, an old man who had one visitor, were slept calmly; it could be the only choice for her to ask him if he is who she looked for or not.
“Excuse me madam!” she asked the woman in a black veil who sat on a chair next to his bed. She turned to her, was in her 40s, barely could be said she has beauty on her face, very fat.
“Yes?” she replied.
“Is this Haj Karimi?” Jenna asked.
“Yes!” she replied. Jenna breathed deeply and said,” I need to talk to him about a family.”
“But I don’t think he could help you; he’s not able to talk, and he’s Alzheimer.” She said.
Jenna felt hopeless, “Oh! I’m really sorry. Hope he gets well soon!” Jenna said. The woman smiled beautifully.
“He’s too old to get well, just pray for him to die easily. It’s been six months he’s here, unconscious and can’t remember any of his children and only call my older brother’s name who has passed away last year” She said. Jenna sat on the edge of the bed and looked at the old man face; his skin was yellow, like her mother. She hated to remember those days at the hospital, and if she had another choice, she would never visit the hospital.
“Are you his daughter?” Jenna asked.
“Yes, the oldest child of him after my brother’s death. The others don’t live here and of course don’t care about him at all.” She complained.
“I hoped he could help me and at the moment, unfortunately he’s not in a good condition. I don’t know what to do now!” she sighed and gave the flowers to her. The woman put them in a big mug full of dirty water.
“Thanks you! Beautiful flowers!” she said and looked at her with a nice smile,” tell me what you need, maybe I can help you. I lived with my father even when I’ve gotten married. So, I know everything he knows.” She said. Jenna was delighted to hear that.
“That would be great. I – “she took a deep breath, in hope to find a trace,” – I need to know about Malekpour family. I – “she paused,” – I am a friend of Soorena Malekpour daughter. I have to find him and give his daughter’s last message. She’s in hospital and is so sick” She explained. The woman listened carefully.
“Malekpour? I know them well; nevertheless, does Soorena have a daughter?” She said and shook her head like she tried to remember something.
Jenna was excited,” yes, but no one knows she’s existed. She lives in France.” She said.
“Oh, really? Well, The daughter of Malekpour family was my close friend in the school time” she giggled and said,” I can even remember she was in love with my brother.” She looked naughtily to Jenna.
“Really? Cute!” she confirmed.
“Soorena was the oldest son of the family, and Somayeh was his younger sister, in contrast; we had a bid family six children at home; they were only two. “She said.
“Are you in touch with them?” Jenna asked.
“No, unfortunately, after they left our neighborhood, our friendship finished “she said sadly.
“So, you don’t have any address or contact number of them?” Jenna asked.
The woman stared at her and sighed,” no! I hope I had. She was my best friend. We both got engaged at the same time. We laughed a lot but – “she sighed again.
“So why you didn’t continue your friendship after they moved?” Jenna asked.
“I tried several times but no one knew where they’ve gone. “She answered.
“Why they left there? Haj Nasrollah told me they left their home suddenly without further notice.” Jenna said.
“Yes, he’s right. They vacated their house in the mid night and didn’t say goodbye to anybody. People who entered their house said that their stuff is still in the house. I think it was because of Soorena. It’s his fault.” She complained.
“Soorena?” Jenna wondered and said,” why? What did he do?” she asked.
“I will tell you something, but please don’t tell everything to his daughter, it could make her sicker, ok?” she asked desperately. Jenna felt her blood pressure reduced, her body shook and felt cold; she eagerly watched the woman’s mouth movements.
“Ok, I won’t.” Jenna swore.
“Well, the story is – “she coughed,” I don’t know exactly, but I tell you what I understood from my parents and my older brother who was Soorena friend, I don’t know the true story. What I’ll tell you is what I’ve heard,” she paused for a while and got closer to Jenna and whispered,” After Haj Malekpour was murdered, they decided to move to an unknown place. Somayeh, her fiancé and her mother!”
Jenna was shocked, could not evaluate the right words,” murdered?” she hummed.
“Yes, Soorena was in India that time, my brother said that he was with a woman there, working on a secret case. Soorena had a fiancé that time, but he left her with no reason. His fiancé gone crazy! She really loved him, but he left him. After the murder, the police started the investigation, and they got nothing, or at least; they didn’t tell the neighbors anything about Haj Malekpour death. He was a good honest man; everybody prayed behind him and trusted him. Everybody loved him and he had no enemy. My brother said that Soorena was guilty.” She explained. Jenna could not think well, “Soorena was guilty!” she thought,” it was the cause mom left him? I don’t understand!”
“I don’t understand well madam. While Soorena was in India how he could be his father’s murderer?” Jenna questioned. The woman moved a little closer.
“No, I didn’t mean he was the killer. I mean it was his fault, because he was worked on a mysterious case of a spy. People said that the spy came to Iran and killed his father. It’s the story. I don’t know how much it’s true.” She lay back to the chair.
“Well, what about Soorena, why he didn’t go with his family?” Jenna asked.
“I think that they gave up him because of his lies. He didn’t tell his family about where he’s gone and what he’s been doing. On the other hand, he left his fiancé because of another woman, and it wasn’t a good thing for their family traditions.” She replied.
“Don’t you have any idea where I can find him?” Jenna asked hopelessly.
“Yes, I think I have an idea!” she said and Jenna was surprised, tried to control herself,” My husband knows something about Soorena. Some years ago, I really was eager to find Somayeh, and he tried to find her for me. Accidentally, he saw Soorena in the TV, and we were both shocked that he’s in Iran and still working as a lawyer. Then he went to the TV channel and asked for his address, and after he barbed some of the stuff, they gave him his address. He found him; he was living in Iran, even we invited him to our home; he cried when he saw my father. He was like my father’s son. He tried to find his family, but he couldn’t. “She said.
Jenna was shaking of surprise and excitement,” then – “her voice was obviously trembling too,” – you know where he is now?” she asked while tried to control her tears.
“No darling. I don’t know anymore. After the case of that woman, who he was her lawyer in TV, he suddenly disappeared. I don’t know why but I know my husband knows something, and he doesn’t tell me.” She said.
“Where – “Jenna’s voice was so weak,” where is your husband now?” she asked.
“He’s in Boushehr for a job mission. He will be back next week. “She replied.
“May I have his number?” she asked.
“He always left his cell phone home, when he goes to Boushehr, but I can call you when he’s back, and you can talk to him straightly. Ok?” she said.
“Thanks madam for your help,” she gave her business card to her and said goodbye. She was not in a good physical and mental condition. Pile of data was processing in her brain, and she could not think well like an old computer. The story she has heard was about her father, someone who she knew nothing about, and the secrets were hidden from her for years. Now, she knew there is something special about her father, and perhaps her mother; that she has never wanted to talk about it; maybe to protect her daughter. She was eager to know everything, the real story behind those mysterious clouds of her past, the identity that was half for years. She needed to talk to someone, a woman, someone who does not stop and avoid her of doing this. She wanted to cry when she remembered her mother’s death, “now, I don’t have anybody to talk to, anybody who caresses me, hugs me, and loves me. Someone who listens and calms me. I’m solely. All alone!” she thought.
Jenna has bought an ice cream, a habit she followed anytime she felt upset since she was 5, and found a bench beneath a willow tree. The evening weather was hot, but a cool breath came through the trees at the park and the mountain. Teenagers were skating around the big musical fountain square of Mellat Park and lots of elderly sat around the fountain chatting and playing chess. She could not bear what she has heard about her father, and could not collect all the traces to find a final result. Everything was unclear and mysterious, a fiancé who her father left because of her mother, A grandfather who was murdered, and a father who disappeared suddenly. She tried to concentrate on the place she was, looked around and thought, “It could be a good place for morning running.” She could see many small kiosk shops that sell lovely handicrafts. She finished her ice cream, took out her compact camera to take some shots of people. She saw a big group of youngsters who was approaching the fountain. The crowd that protested demands the release of Abas Palizdar from prison had same green flags and clothes and bracelets in their hands. Jenna closed to them and started to take pictures; everywhere in Tehran, there was a subject for a journalist to take shots of. While she was capturing photos, a guy approached her and ask if she would join them or not, but she ignored and said she is just a journalist. There was a sea of people passing, but everyone was silent; no shouting, no motto and no words.
It was not a long period when a group of security guards who were not regular security guards but mostly plainclothes agents, struck against them and this led to arrests and injuries; many of the protesters were bloodied and suffered broken bones due to the confrontation with security guards and some of them who was lucky, escaped. Everything happened as quickly as a blink. Teenagers were scared to death, elderly tried to help youngsters and the shopkeepers’ recollections about the protests they had witnessed. Jenna knew it is not safe to stay idle, tried to hide herself somewhere to capture what she saw. It was a clear evidence of what was happening in Iran against protestors and human rights charter, but one of the plainclothes agents who with dark iron batons hit the people whoever across them and yell unstoppable wildly, saw her and tried to capture her camera. She tried to escape, he grabbed her wrist and with his yellow eyes stared angrily at her eyes “gimmi that bitch!” he yelled. Jenna decided to run, the reaction everybody does at the same situation; fear, stress and indiscrimination were the powers that lead her actions, pull her wrist out of his dead cold hand and run. He hit her arm with the baton; she felt involuntary pain in her shoulder, but continued to run, and she was succeeded like last night.
On the other part of the city, Alex was searching for a subject to picture, focused on a little boy, who was selling flowers at traffic-stop, and a woman with baby on her arms begging for money or food. He kept noticing how few people even seem to notice these kids and adult beggars anymore. After the traffic light greened, a young boy about nine who had one arm and one stump tried to across the street with the help of the other. He came to the pavement with an innocent smile on his lips and gave all his money – some coins – to the other boy. Everybody who crossed those little boys, looked very pathetically at them, some avoiding to be touched by them and some started saying out loud how sad it was, and how terrible, but no one actually gave them anything. He thought people were getting numb in Iran, as they saw these things every day again and again. It desensitizes, especially as there are so many kids like this. He bought three Turkish kebob from a shop near there, and gave two of them to the boys and caress there dirty hair and left them alone. He started to bite his sandwich, turned back to see if the kids are eating, and saw them eating their sandwiches with an endless appetite.
Jenna tried to call Alex, but she had no answer. She, in a yellow cab, decided to have another visit to her grandfather’s house, in hope to enter that mysterious abandoned house. Her arm ached, and she felt it swollen while she touched it. The traffic jam caused to arrive in her destination in the darkness of the afternoon. Jenna walked along the dark thin lane, the voice of Azan was heard from the mosque and there were so many people passing near the house to the mosque. She pushed the door; it was stuck in its place, and she walked away investigated the walls. The walls were not too high, and she considered she could jump up them easily, and some loosen bricks could be a step to help her to go up. Her phone rang.
“Hey gurl, where are you? I can’t find you in the lobby?” Alex said.
“Well, I’m near my grandfather’s house.” She replied.
“What for?” he asked.
“I wanted to see if I’m able to break into the house!” she giggled.
“Break into? Are you out of your mind? Somebody could see you and call the police, holy shit!” he babbled.
“I don’t care. I will wait till people gone to the mosque, then no one’s here to disturb me.” She said.
“Don’t be silly Jenna. Come back to the hotel. We will find a better way to enter that house.” He begged.
“I should go in tonight!” She said, but she felt very exhausted.
“Please, let’s talk about it tonight, ok? We will have dinner together and see how we can go in.” He said.
“Ok! You know what’s funny! You don’t even ask me why I want to break into the house! Then you want to be my co-respondent” she laughed.
Alex scratched his head,” I feel so silly now!” he giggled.