The first time
Nadia pulled the long sleeveless cardigan on over her brown gown and smiled as she looked in the mirror. It was her first day home from college, and she was looking forward to meeting her friends at the centre again. A brown leather belt was fastened around her waist, and her legs were in a comfortable pair of black tights – her feet and lower legs also in a pair of fur lined brown leather boots.
Finally, as befitted her faith, she picked up a large brown scarf and wrapped it round her head, covering her hair and leaving only her face exposed as it hung down her left side. Smiling, she put some gold necklaces round her neck, and looked at herself in the mirror.
“This, I think, needs a photo for the album,” she said to herself as she picked up a pink camera, and posed in the mirror, nodding as she took the picture – and then taken completely by surprise by the hand that was clamped firmly over her mouth as she was pulled away.
“Don’t say a word,” the man said, “my friend is downstairs with your mother, making sure she cannot raise the alarm and I am going to do the same to you. Nod if you understand.”
“Enndrstnd,” Nadia said as she nodded.
“Good – now, when I remove my hand, put your hands behind your back and stand still.”
As the hand went, the young woman did as she had been commanded, the camera removed from her hand before she felt something being pulled around her wrists, and she heard a rasping sound as they were forced together. “Why are you doing this,” she whispered as her arms were gripped by strong hands, and she was made to walk over to her bed, and then lie face down on it.
“We just want your valuables, and have no desire to hurt you,” the voice said, “but you need to be secured and silenced so that you cannot raise the alarm before we have a chance to get away.” Nadia looked over her shoulder, but only saw a wide shouldered man in a jacket as he held her ankles together, and used what looked like a strip of plastic to force them together, accompanied by the same rasping sound.
As she was rolled over, she grunted when the strip of sticking plaster was pressed over her mouth, before the man started to search through her drawers, shaking his head before he looked at her and went off.
Nadia stayed still until the noise died down in the house, and then sat herself up, slowly moving across the bed before she slipped onto the floor, and started to push herself towards the door. It was a slow, laborious process, and she felt the sweat on her hair and the back of her neck as she moved across the hallway, down the stairs, and then jumped into the front room, where her mother lay on the couch, secured and silenced in the same way as her.
She then jumped to the telephone, wondering why she was not only afraid, but also somewhat excited by what had happened. She lifted the receiver, dialled 999, and then grunted into the mouthpiece as the call was connected…
“Are you sure you are all right,” her father said as they sat round the table later that day. As Nadia and her mother nodded, the young woman closed her eyes, and wondered what she would do if that was to happen again…
The second time
Six months has passed, and as Nadia sat in her room, reading the confirmation of her University offer, her thoughts were actually on the new life she was going to start in the autumn.
Right at that moment, however, she was getting ready to go and meet her friends. For once, she was not wearing the full hijab, instead wrapping her hair in a striped scarf to make a turban. She wore a back cardigan over a red zipped top, a black snood hanging loosely round her neck, a knee length black skirt, dark tights and knee length cuffed black felt boots.
“I had better just take a picture for my blog,” she said to herself as she stood in front of the mirror, and snapped a photo with her camera, before she collected her purse and headed down the stairs. She was alone in the house at that point, wondering if there was a bus due – only to stop when she saw the young man in her front room.
“Oh dear – I had hoped this would not happen,” he said with a smile, “but it appears we meet again – and it appears I must make sure you cannot raise the alarm again. Please,” he continued as he showed her a gun, “take a seat from the table and place it in the centre of the floor.”
“Why have you come back,” Nadia said as she complied, “we have nothing for you to take.”
“I understand – I was actually laying low until the police deal with an incident across the road, and it would appear I came into the same house.” As he spoke, Nadia sat down, and he took a length of wool that was sitting in a basket by the couch. Guiding her arms around the back of the chair, her secured her wrists together with a square hitch, and then tied them to the central support of the chair back.
“You broke into Mina’s house?”
“I did – and she came home, so I came over here,” he said as Nadia saw the police car on the far side of the road. She didn’t even notice as he put her ankle against the front leg of the chair, and lashed it into place.
“May I say something I did not get the Chace to say before,” he said as Nadia realised he was tying her other ankle into place.
“And that is?”
“You are a very beautiful young woman.”
Nadia blushed as he said this, struggling slightly and finding no way to move her wrists or ankles. “I bet you say that to all the women you tie up,” she finally said.
“Nope – you’re the first,” the man said as he lifted her snood up. “Open your mouth please.”
“Oh no you’re not gonntsssthtru,” Nadia’s words were cut off as he pulled the woollen band into her mouth, and then used the wool to tighten it at the base of her neck, her lips closing over the soft material.
“I think I may leave by the back door, but first,” he said as he took her mobile phone from her purse. Nadia stared at him as he looked through her contacts, and then started typing.
“Something for another day,” he said with a smile, “and my apologies for the inconvenience.” Replacing her phone, he looked at her, and then kissed her on the forehead before he left the room. Nadia stared at the wall, wondering what had just happened…
It was that night, in her room that Nadia finally looked at her phone, and at the contacts list – including the new one that had been added. She debated whether or not to call the police and tell them, but instead, kept it to herself – nothing would ever come of it anyway, and apart from tying her to the chair and stuffing a scarf in her mouth, he had not hurt her…
The Third Time
“I’ll meet you there Kate,” Nadia said as she turned from her table, “I need to finish this first.”
“Okay – don’t forget,” the blonde said as she left Nadia in her room, smiling as she heard the rest of her flatmates leave. She typed a few more sentences on the screen, and then stood up, stretching as she heard her phone ping to show a message had come in.
It was a single word – “Hello” – but it as the number attached that made her look again.
“It can’t be,” she said as she looked at her phone, and then at herself in the mirror. It had been six months again, and she had forgotten that afternoon, but now?
Nadia shook herself as she looked in her wardrobe mirror. The patterned chiffon scarf was, as usual, wrapped around her head and over her shoulders, hanging down to her waist over the grey cropped jumper and the blouse underneath. The legs of her tight grey pats were tucked into knee length black leather boots. One aspect of coming to university was she could be a little more fashionable in the way she dressed – and still be modest.
“It has to be a joke,” she said to herself as she walked out – and then saw him standing there, smiling as he said “I see you got my note.”
“What the… How did you… Why are you…”
“Keep calm Nadia,” he said as he put his hands on her shoulders, “I’m not here to rob you or hurt you, I’m here to ask you a question.
“Did you like it when I tied you to the chair?”
It was an honest, open and direct question – and Nadia surprised herself when she heard her own voice saying “yes…”
“And would you like to feel that helpless again?”
Smiling, he took from his pocket a length of cord, and said “That’s why I’m here – turn around, and put your hands behind your back.”
“You’re going to tie me up?” Nadia watched as he nodded and smiled, and then turned, biting her lower lip as he secured her wrists tightly together.
“I don’t understand – why do I like this?”
“Better not to try and understand, and instead to enjoy – shall we go back to your room?” He escorted her to the room, and said “sit down” as he produced two more lengths of cord. By all rights, she should have raised the alarm, but instead she watched with interest as he crossed and secured her ankles together, and then her legs below her knees. She tried to move, the leather squeaking, before she looked at him and said “what now?”
“I steal this,” he said as he pressed his lips gently to hers, and then looked at her. I told you you were a beautiful young woman, and you look even more beautiful now.”
“But you are holding me captivehmmmmmsns” she said as he kissed her again, and she returned the gesture, his arms round her as they kissed for a few minutes.”
“Sorry if I interrupted your plans,” he said with a smile.
“That’s fine – are you going to gag me again?”
“I am,” he said as from his other pocket he produced a roll of white tape, peeling and tearing off a strip before he pressed it over her lips, smoothing it into place before he kissed there as well. Nadia moaned slightly, then nodded as he held her, and said “so, let me tell you something about myself…”
“Nadia? You still here?”
“Oh – sorry,” Nadia said as she came from her room, “I had a surprise visitor. This is Tom. Tom, Kate.”
“Hmmm – he’s a looker, and you are a dark horse, Nadia. Coffee?”
“Please – for both of us,” she said with a smile as she slipped her arm round Tom’s waist.
The Fourth Time
Nadia adjusted the long camel coloured scarf so that the ends hung in front of and behind her on the left side, before she picked up the camera and took a selfie in the mirror. Her Laura Ashley style dress had long sleeves, and a pleated skirt that came to just above her knees. Dark tights covered her legs, and she was wearing a pair of brown lace-up ankle boots, her grey socks turned over the top of them.
“All done,” she said as she looked at Tom, and then put the camera down, crossing her wrists behind her back and smiling as she felt him bind them together with the soft rope. “Are you sure nobody is going to say anything?”
“Not unless you draw attention to us,” Tom said with a smile as he cinched the wrists bindings, and then tied the rope off. He then took a longer length of rope, Nadia controlling her excitement as he tied it round her arms and body, framing her chest but taking care not to trap her hijab underneath.
“There we go,” he said as he tied that off, and then picked up the poncho, putting it over her head and covering her bound upper body so that nobody could see the ropes. She turned herself round, and then nodded as she opened her mouth, allowing tom to push a folded handkerchief past her teeth and into the space there.
She closed her mouth over it, getting used to the feeling as he tore from a wide roll of clear tape a long length, and then carefully pressed it over her lips, smoothing it out and making sure there were no creases or air bubbles underneath. She looked at herself in the mirror, amazed at how natural it looked as Tom placed the strap of her handbag over her head, letting it hang to the side and adjusting her hijab so it hung naturally as well.
“Shall we,” he said as he opened her room door, Kate nodding and smiling as they went outside, Nadia excited and scared at the same time…