Devil with the Angel's Eyes (16+)

(Based on Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner)

Saria Ahmed is Assef's twelve year old sister, a charming young girl with bright blue eyes, and curly blonde hair. With her girly dresses and sweet demeanour, she comes across as the perfect child. But there is evil lying just beneath the innocent facade, a darkness that is sometimes beyond her control...

Any characters, words or plot devices taken from the Kite Runner are copyrighted by Khaled Hosseini and Dreamworks studios. I do not own them, and no copyright is intended. Saria Ahmed, and any other characters not owned by Hosseini are owned by me.

Please note that this story does contain strong violence, language and mature themes, but it is meant to reflect the violent and sociopathic natures of both Saria and Assef, and is told from Saria's unique first person perspective. If you are under the age, or maturity level of 16, or are in any way squeamish about violence, please do not read this story. Any feedback/ideas are welcomed.


23. The Perfect Moment

In the last chapter, the love that Saria felt for Amir began to seriously dwindle when she saw him disrespect her older brother. She was enraged to find that Amir's attitude towards both her and Assef has become more and more rude. Now we find her about to spend the day with her brother but it won't be long before something big happens...

''Come on down when you're ready, kiddo,'' my brother said. He stood in the door way to my bedroom, his arms folded against his chest, leaning against the doorframe. I turned around to smile at him, my eyes bright with the prospect of us spending the day together.

''Alright, Assef. Give me a few minutes to get myself dressed and I'll be right down,'' I told him, smiling warmly.

Assef nodded. ''You're not going to keep your older brother waiting too long?'' he asked mock-sternly.

I shook my head. ''Of course not. Ten minutes. Promise.''

''Alright then, kiddo. See you in ten.'' With that having been said, my brother left me to my own devices in my rather messy bedroom. I tried looking out the window. The sunlight almost fucking blinded me. I hissed and covered my eyes with my left hand, shrinking back in on myself.

''FUCK! FUCKING SUN!'' I swore aloud. I let myself slip up momentarily by being so loud. I didn't care though. I honestly could give two fucks as to who had just heard me. I doubted that Mama and Papa would have heard anyhow. They were both downstairs (in the living room, Assef had said) and probably unable to hear anything.

Every sound was probably being drowned out by the sounds of Mama's irritating sobbing. Honest to fucking God that woman was getting on my nerves! All she seemed to do day in and day out was just sit and sob, or, of she wasnt making a fucking ruckus, she'd just sit somewhere and stare blankly ahead like a zombie.

I couldn't see the point of this. Yes, Fahrsan was dead. Yes, she blamed herself, and her beloved baby sister blamed her too. Yes, I had destroyed a life-long relationship that I knew now could never be repaired. Yes, I had cut a seventeen year old boy's life short, killed him before he even got to fully experience the beauty of what life has to offer. Yes, I had down all these things and more.

But in all honesty, who gives a fuck? As I have already stated numerous times, Fahrsan had no right to slap me the way that he did. If I had let that go unpunished then I felt I wouldn't be doing myself the proper justice that I deserved to have. Nobody should get away with treating me in such a manner. I didn't care who you were. Fahrsan deserved to die, you see, and nothing that anyone could say would ever make me think any differently about this. I could care less about him now. He was just worm food in the ground where he belonged. Besides, people who look like he did deserved to die anyway.

They were an absolute abomination. They were what was wrong with the world today, well them and Hazaras. They needed to be gotten rid of. To be tortured, killed. That was what my brother always told me. These people are an abomination. In fact, they don't even deserve to be called people. They were more like animals than people. They were absolute monstrosities, every last one of them. Fahrsan included. And no I didn't care that that boy was my cousin and that he probably did care for me a lot. Why should I? It was his own fault. If only he hadn't slapped me, then none of this would have happened.

I could give two shits about what I had done. That was now two people who's lives had been destroyed because of me. Two families who were in grieving. Did it matter to me what I did? I could care less about Mama and her feelings. I knew I must have caused some severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I wondered if she ever thought about killing herself. Surely the thought must have gone through her mind. To slit her wrists in the bathtub or hang herself with one of Papa's belts and watch the pain all fade away. I wondered if she would receive the forgiveness from God that she could never receive from Stella.

I laughed to myself at the thought. I really could care less about what had happened. ''Come on now, Saria. Don't keep your brother waiting,'' I told myself. I got up from where I was sitting on the bed. It was an absolutely stunning summers morning. It was around mid to late May.

The sky was a beautiful blue colour with the golden sun peeking out from behind the white clouds. The perfect day to spend with my older brother. I walked up to my window and tied the curtains back with the rope provided at the side of the windowsill. I decided to open the window to let some air in. I fumbled with the latch for a few minutes before I finally managed to get it open. I yanked it up high and stuck my head out, admiring the view as the cool wind blew in my face. The sunshine was very warm and I knew that I would not need to wear anything too heavy.

Now, what dress could I wear today? I wondered to myself. There were so many choices in my wardrobe to choose from. Each as hideous as the last. I laughed at the bullshit things that I had to wear. The horrific dresses and pinafores. I looked a right sight in everything that I put on. What could I do? I went over to my wardrobe and perused through my many dresses. 'What do I wear today?' I asked myself, placing my hands on my hips. It would end up looking shit anyway. I might as well just pick something. I took out a knee-length dress and laid it on my bed. It had a large collar, with large ruffles on it and long sleeves.

There was also a huge bow that tied at the back. It was light pink in colour. This was the type of dress that you would expect to see someone of about four or so wearing. I was going to look a sight. Still, what could I do? My parents insisted in buying me the stupidest, most ridiculous clothes ever created. They really wanted to maintain the childish look. Fucking cunts. I exhaled deeply as I pulled the dress over my tiny, slim frame. I pulled on some ankle length white socks with lace at the top of them. No need for tights today. It was too warm for them. Didn't want to get too hot and irritable, did I?

I pulled on a pair of black shoes with bows tied at the front of them. They were buckled and I had to struggle to get them tied. I swore to myself as I tugged the buckle through the strap. I pulled the shoes tight and stood up. God I must have looked a fucking sight. I've said this before though. I looked at myself in the mirror. The dress was tight around my waist and barely covered the tops of my knees. I must have looked about six or seven.

This outfit would be more suitable for a six year old in any case. I took a large matching pink ribbon from my vanity table and carefully weaved into the back of my hair, securing it in a half up-do. I swayed from side to side as I admired myself in the mirror. I almost gagged in disgust at what I looked like. The outside certainly didn't reflect the inside. The monster looked like the innocent. My hair even looked ten times curlier today. I smiled to myself as I bowed my knees in the mirror. ''Looking good, Saria. Looking very good indeed,'' I told myself aloud. I was suddenly startled by a knock on the door.

I whipped around to see Mama standing there. She had a box of tissues in her hand and it was obvious that she had been crying. Her eyes were all blotchy and red. Her misery was hilarious to me. It was like what watching a clown would be to a ''normal'' or so child. Still, I held that false smile of childhood innocence in place. ''Hello, Mama,'' I said sweetly. ''And how are you today?'' Like I even needed to ask the question. She was hesitant with her answer. She didn't think this was the kind of thing that a twelve-year-old girl should be hearing about.

I could tell that she was even a bit ashamed that I had noticed her tears. They were streaked down either side of her face. One on each cheek. ''Fine, sweetie. Everything's fine,'' she said rather unconvincingly. She held her arms out. Grudgingly, I walked over and was met by a warm embrace.

This only further reminded me that my brother was the only person who could embrace me without it being a total deception. Mama gently stroked my hair, breathing in the scent of my strawberry shampoo. A few tears fell from her eyes and landed on my head. This must have been one of her bad days. I have written already about the lack of a fuck that I give. Mama gently ran her fingers over my scalp. ''Mama's sorry that she's been so sad lately,'' she said apologetically. She obviously didn't really know how to approach the situation with me. I cocked my head to side.

''And why are you so sad, Mama?'' I asked. I wanted to hear her say it! I wanted to hear the words coming out of her mouth. The absolute pain that it would cause her to speak about Fahrsan's death. I bit my lip and smiled at my mother.

The smile she perceived as childhood innocence was nothing more that pure devilishness. Delight in her pain. With a sigh, she said the words that I wanted her to say so badly. ''I'm just sad because of Fahrsan, sweetheart. That's all. Because he passed away.'' She kept her explanations short and simple. The way you would when speaking to a small child.

I could only nod as I lowered my eyes in a false show or sympathy. ''There's no need for you to be sad, Mama. Fahrsan's in Heaven now. He's looking down at us with the angels. And one day I know that we'll see him again. Does that make you happy?'' I asked. 'Thats it, Saria. Just keep hamming it up for the bitch,' I thought to myself.

My words had certainly tugged on her heartstrings. She looked down at me with tears in her eyes and pressed me up against the fabric of her dress. Her clothing smelt of that cheap detergent she often used. She almost broke down on the spot. ''That does make me happy, Saria. That makes me very happy. Thank you. You're a sweet little girl, do you know that?''

I had to hold back a laugh when she said this. 'You're hugging Fahrsan's killer,' I thought to myself. I loosely embraced her back. The only time an embrace ever meant anything to me was when it was between me and Assef. Other than that it was just a lie. A complete falsehood.

''It makes me sad when I see you so upset,'' I told my mother. ''I want my Mama to be happy,'' I said in a sugar sweet voice. She brushed a lock of curly blonde hair back from my face. I looked up at her. I was surprised by how much I looked like my mother.

Both of her children had taken their looks from her. Their personalities and characters were a totally different story. I pulled myself away from her and adjusted my ribbon and dress. ''You're so pretty,'' Mama said with conviction. She was on the verge of become emotional once again. I could give two shits! Her pain was my pleasure.

I held out the sides of my dress and ran my hands down the front. ''I feel pretty in this dress,'' I said. It was so hard for me to say that with a straight face. I could make her swoon for me.

''You'd be pretty in anything,'' she said. I could appreciate the compliment. She seemed happy to have the few moments to bond with her only daughter. I beamed at her. It was so fucking hard to keep a smile on my face. This was making my face ache. ''Your big brother is waiting for you downstairs,'' Mama said.

I felt sorry for making Assef wait. For taking my time talking with my bitch of a mother when the more important person didn't get my attention. I bowed my knees. ''Okay. Will you tell him I'm sorry and I'll be right down?''

Mama nodded. ''Of course, dear.'' With that having been said, she left the room. As I was leaving the room, I stole a glance at the copy of Mein Kampf on my shelf. It was the same copy that Assef and I had given Amir and I a few days previously. Assef had given it to me. He knew that I would look after it. A sweet gift from big brother to little sister.

I knew that I would take a hell of a lot better care of this than Amir had done. I was still steeling myself with the rage inside from what had happened at Amir's birthday. The fucking nerve of that cunt!

How dare he do such a thing! How dare he! I was absolutely furious at his disrespect. Nobody had the right to treat either me and my brother like that. The love that I had for Amir was slowly dwindling away into nothing. Sooner or later I knew I would see him as simply another person to be done away with. I could not love anyone with the same undying finesse that I had for Assef. Still, I hoped that Amir would see sense and come round to our side.

There was a plate supplying a few slices of buttered bread and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice set out on the table for me. I had to hand it to Mama. Even in her depressed and downtrodden state she still managed to find time to take care of her daughter. I smiled to myself. I sat down at the table and took a huge swig of juice.

''Ah!'' I sighed, smacking my lips together. ''Now that's how orange juice should be made.'' I picked up a slice of bread and bit down into it. The butter melted on my tongue as I chewed and swallowed. The taste was euphoric. I looked out the window to see Assef sitting on one of the chairs by the pool.

He turned around where he sat and waved at me. I returned the gesture before once again focusing my attention in the food that I was eating. It was now about half past eleven or so in the morning.

At least I had all day in which to spend with my brother. Perhaps we would even go on a just because. We hadn't been on one in such an awfully long while. Not since we'd beaten Ara about six or seven months ago. I wanted to find a new victim. The novelty of Ara's blinding was long beginning to wear off on me.

There had to be fresh meat out there for me to torment. Someone else to main or to disfigure. The thought of seeing someone else at the mercy of my brother's brass knuckles was erotic. But come on now? Isn't it all too obvious? I have a violent side, I get off on pain. Yes. So fucking shoot me! Speaking of which, I was sure that I had kept my poor brother waiting for too long. I finished up my toast and bustled outside to meet him. Assef stood up from his seat and held his arms out to me. I ran into them and he embraced me tightly.

''What took you so long, kiddo?'' he asked playfully.

I snickered. ''Mama and I were talking. About Fahrsan. She's so sad lately you know,'' I spoke in a false sad voice.

Assef hugged me to him. ''Sometimes I wish that Fahrsan hadn't died,'' he said. This surprised me.

I cocked my head to the side and placed my hands on my hips. ''What do you mean, Assef?'' I asked.

''Well, do you know how terrible it is for a person to live with permanent paralysis?'' he asked. I shook my head.

''No. I don't.''

''Imagine this, kiddo. You can't move your arms or legs. You can't feed or wash yourself. You have to rely on other people to do everything for you. EVERYTHING.''

I listened. Entranced by his words. ''And you can't do anything?'' I asked.

He shook his head. ''Nothing, it's a terrible life.''

I began chortling. ''I imagine so. Now I sort of wish Fahrsan didn't die either,'' I said truthfully.

Assef nodded in agreement. ''I do too kiddo. But now he's in hell where he belongs.''

I beamed up at my brother. ''Yep. Where everyone else like him ends up.''

Assef laughed. ''That's right.. Now what would you like to do this morning, kiddo?''

''Um, how's about we play some volley ball?'' I asked.

Assef nodded. ''Okay. Volley ball it is then. And I'm taking you out to lunch later. To that restaurant you like. My treat, kiddo.''

''Thank you,'' I beamed at him. ''Sounds like fun.''

''Well give me a few moments to get these back inside and I'll be right with you,'' my brother said.

I nodded. ''Meet me by the volley ball nets,'' I said. With that, Assef picked up the half-empty plate and walked back inside. I made my way over to where the volley ball nets were. We had had them built about ten or twelve years before Assef was born, by an old family friend who had long since passed away.

The nets stood tall at the bottom of the grass, about seven or eight feet tall. The sun was now blazing at it's hottest over me in the sky. I brushed my hair back from my face. I could feel the perspiration on my forehead already. I kicked off my left shoe and shook a rock out of it. I picked up a nearby ball and began dribbling it on my knees. I juggled it from hand to hand as I waited for my brother. I had never been very sporty, but I was quite a good volley ball player. I wondered whether I would hold my own in a match against Assef.

My brother was quite the expert at sports. After about five or so minutes, Assef jogged towards me. He stopped on the other side of the net, his hair flopping down in front of his face. He ran his hand through his hair and scratched at his neck. I kicked off my shoes and bounced up and down. The long grass tickled the soles of my white socked feet. I giggled for a bit. ''I'm sorry I was so late, kiddo,'' he said. ''Mother wanted to talk.''

I raised my eyebrows. ''She seems to want to talk to both of us doesn't she? What did she want?'' I asked.

''Just to talk. Something about how she's sorry that she's been upset lately. That she thinks it's great how good care I've taken of you over the last few weeks.''

''You've always taken care of me. Ever since I can remember,'' I told him. Assef smiled at me.

''Anything for you, Saria. Now, are we going to stand around talking about our feelings or am I going to kick your ass at volley ball?'' he teased, grinning. I shook my head and tossed the ball over the net to him.

''No.'' I said. ''Because I'm going to kick your ass!'' I laughed aloud.

''Those are fighting words, my sister. But can you hold to those words?'' he joked. We would often tease and joke with each other the way we were doing now. It was just all in good fun. Assef chucked the ball over the net. I wasn't ready for it, however, and it ended up falling from my clumsy little fingers. I bent down to retrieve it.

''Seems you're losing already, kiddo. Care to give up yet?'' Assef joked. I fixed him the death stare that I am well known for, then broke out in laughter.

''NEVER!'' I exclaimed loudly.

''Suit yourself then.'' Assef once again tossed the ball towards me over the net. This time, however, I was anticipating it. I jumped up to meet it and was able to land a pretty smooth hit.

''Not so bad now am I?'' I teased my brother. We continued playing for a good hour or two.

These moments that I got to spend with my big brother were some of the best in my entire life. No, scratch that, they were the best moments in my entire life. There is nothing else that could ever compare to being with the one person that I could ever truly love and care for. That kindred soul that shared my hopes and dreams and would go to any lengths to help me achieve them.

These quiet moments I could almost forget the darkness in my mind. The violent desire to cause harm and misery to innocent people. To anyone watching me right now, I knew I would come off as an innocent child. I actually did feel this way right now, and this time it wasn't a deception.

Assef directed another hit to me, which I easily blocked, then served the ball back to him. 'Hey, I'm actually quite good at this,' I thought to myself as we played. 'Not just a pretty face after all,' I thought.

''What ya thinking about, kiddo?'' Assef asked. We had now finished playing (apparently the game was a ''draw'' - my brother's way of saying that he lost) and I was throwing the ball up and down and catching it.

I bit my lip. ''Oh. Nothing.''

Assef smiled. ''Well then, how's about you and I go get some lunch?''

I nodded. ''Okay.'' I was actually getting pretty hungry right about now. I could hear my stomach rumbling.

''I don't think you're going to need a jacket today, kiddo, but take a cardigan just in case.'' I nodded again, bent down to put back on my shoes and sprinted in the direction of the house. I put on a light cream over shirt over the dress that I felt would keep me warm and yet not too warm. I admired myself in the mirror by the hall. I fixed my hair which had gotten quite out of place during that game of volley ball. I readjusted my ribbon and tied the top three buttons on my cardigan.

Assef and I walked down the driveway. I noticed Papa's car parked in its usual spot. There was a substantial amount of bird shit on the windows and doors. How they manages to shit at such an angle I had no idea. It puzzled me. I looked up at my brother. ''Are Wali and Kamal coming too?'' I asked.

He shook his head. ''No. Not today. I just want to spend the day with my baby sister.'' He beamed at me, and ruffled my hair. We continued walking. My mind was somehow drawn to Kamal. I still had quite a bit of a soft spot for that boy, even though he was five or so years older than me, and probably saw me as nothing more than his friend's kid sister.

I had had quite strong feelings for him for as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid I used to fantasise about him and I. Yes, I know it sounds childish! Kamal was even more scared of Assef than Wali was. I've written this before. Perhaps this was what had drawn me to him in the first place.

The fact that my brother could do easily control him. Could so easily make him do his bidding. It was actually quite endearing. If only Kamal had been a few years younger. Then maybe it would have worked out between him and I. I didn't need a husband or children in any case. I had my big brother and that was all I needed. The sky was now a dull grey in colour. The heat of this morning was gone.

The sun peeked out from behind one of the clouds, its blinding rays still providing a large amount of warmth. Still, this was still not quite on par with the brilliant weather I had seen when I arose this morning.

''Not as nice as earlier, huh, kiddo?'' Assef voiced my thoughts. ''You sure you're not cold or anything? Would you like my jacket?'' he offered.

I shook my head. ''No thank you, Assef. It's a nice offer but I'm fine.''

He nodded. ''Okay then. But just tell me any time you want it. I don't want my sister catching a chill.'' I nodded in understanding. We reached our favourite cafe and were seated promptly. I had liked this place since I was in my pushchair. It used to be the place Mana and Papa took us when we were small kids but now it since become the place I only went with my brother.

The place Assef took me when he wanted to treat me to lunch or even just a cup of tea and slice of cake. We were soon approached by Belourine, the middle aged owner of the cafe. She had a huge grin on her face. The woman was always fucking happy. All the time. I didn't know how that could be possible.

She stopped at our table and took out a notepad and ballpoint pen. ''Well if it isn't my favourite little girl,'' she said to me. I beamed up at her. ''You've gotten so big, Saria. How old are you now, dear? Ten?''

''I'm twelve since December of this year,'' I corrected her.

She was taken aback by this statement. ''My goodness! Where does the time go?'' she asked rethorically. I shook my head, grinning.

''Who knows?'' I responded. She was instantly taken in by my charm and poise. As are most people I meet.

''And you must been in fourth grade or so?'' I once again had to correct her.

''Um, I started fifth grade this Spring.''

''And what would you like to be when you grow up?'' God, what was this, twenty fucking questions?

''Eh, I dunno.''

She laughed at this answer. ''Plenty of years to decide that. Your mother and father can find a nice man for you and you'll settle down. A beautiful little thing like you. That certainly won't be a problem.''

''Can we order please, Khala jan?'' Assef asked as politely as possible, gesturing to the pen in her left hand. She seemed taken aback. She didn't realise she had been talking so long. Fucking cow.

''Um, uh, of course. The usual, is it?'' She scribbled out our orders down on the notepad and bustled off. Once she was gone, my brother and I began speaking to each other. For obvious reasons, we kept the conversation in German.

''I wonder if I shoved her head in a pot of boiling water would she be as happy?'' I asked.

''It might help her remember how old you are. How many fucking times does she ask that question? And how many times does she get it wrong!'' Assef asked, laughing.

''Too many times,'' I sighed , placing my head in my hands. ''Mullah Fahsir Khan must have given about six pop quizzes since Ahtrai arrived. That cow just WON'T shut UP!''

''Well, why doesn't he just move her to another class? Or give her a detention?'' my brother suggested.

''Believe me, a detention is far less of a punishment than anything I could fill out if I was able to and would get away with it,'' I said. ''I have so many ideas about what I could do to her. What we could to do her.''

''Tell me, kiddo.'' As we were served our food, I began telling my brother all about the violent fantasies I had of what I could do to Ahtrai.

''Oh, and I met this girl, Delbar, from my class. She's a sweet kid, about eight or so. I want to make her my bitch. Like Adia.''

''You're not getting bored of poor Adia, are you?'' Assef joked.

I shook my head. ''Of course not. I love playing with Adia. I guess you could say that I want a back up bitch.''

Assef laughed loudly at this statement. ''Okay then. You and Delbar and Adia would make great friends,'' he teased jokingly. As we ate, I couldn't help but notice Amir enter. He gave us a fleeting glance.

''Is there something wrong, Amir jan?'' I asked in false concern. He was hesitant with his answer.

''Um, no. Uh, I lost the watch my dad got me for my birthday, and now he's a bit pissed off,'' he eventually admitted.

''Vielleicht wird es wiederum in den Büschen von Ihrem Haus. Das scheint zu sein, wo Sie die meisten Ihrer Geschenke gebracht, nicht wahr?'' Assef asked, his lip curling upwards. This was German for, ''Maybe you'll find it in the bushes by your house. That seems to be where you put most of your presents, isn't it?''

Amir had no idea what has just been said to him. ''Um, what?'' he stuttered.

Assef rolled his eyes at me. I giggled. ''I said, I'm sure you'll find it some time. Maybe when you're not looking for it.''

Amir nodded. ''Sure. Um, you're right.'' He said. ''Well, I uh, I have to go,'' he said. He turned tail and scurried outside. I let out a loud gleeful laugh and clapped my hands together.

''Did you see his face?'' I asked in German.

''I really don't know why you like that boy.''

''I'll keep him in line if we ever do get married.''

''That you will, kiddo.'' Assef looked from side to side. ''Did you hear the rumour about his father, that he once wrestled a bear?''

My eyes widened. ''Oh my God, really?''

''That's what people are saying. Do you think I could hold up against him?'' he asked.

''I think you could.''

''I've always wanted to take Yusef on,'' Assef admitted.

''Ha! Now that's a fight I'd love to see. You'd kick his ass into next week,'' I giggled.

''Thank you, kiddo,'' my brother replied.

''Thank you for the lunch. I love spending time with you,'' I said truthfully. Assef reached across the table and placed his hand over mine.

''That's sweet. I couldn't imagine anyone else I'd want to spend time with,'' he said. We smiled at each other. I took the last forkful of food and set the fork down on the empty plate.

''Where would you like to go now, kiddo?'' he asked. ''I haven't got the knuckles with me, so a just because is out of the question. I'm sorry. Maybe another time? Is there anywhere else you want to go? Anything else you could think for us to do? We have all day together after all.''

''Can we go to the alley? The alley where the rape happened?'' I asked.

''Of course. We'll go now.'' He took my hand as we left the restaraunt. Belourine waved us off cheerily, her pasty grin still etched onto her face. 'I should wipe that grin right off her face.' I thought to myself. Overly happy people like her just aggravate the shit out of me. I skipped on ahead of my brother as we walked through the street. I was honestly feeling in quite good spirits today and I knew that Assed felt the same way. We reached the alley and I bounced up and down, the memories flowing back.

I bent down and touched the ground, recalling the feel of it under my feet as I watched Assef rape that Hazara cunt. ''It's.. All the memories,'' I said, clasping my hands together. Assef laughed at my enthusiasm.

''You laughed so much that day. I was afraid you would make yourself sick,'' he said.

''It was Hassan's own fault. He knew what we were capable yet he dared to fight against you. Fucking retard.''

Assef nodded. ''He shouldn't have done that, kiddo, but now he's paying the price for it.'' We shared a laugh as we reminisced about what Assef had done to the little boy. The agony that he had been put through. It was still funny even all these months later.

''I wonder what'll we'll do at the next tournament?'' I asked.

''It'll be something good, I promise kiddo. Though what can top at that rape, eh?'' He nudged me. I wrapped my arm around his waist and smiled. I was in hysterics from the memory.

''This is my favourite place,'' I told my brother. ''My favourite place and my favourite person.'' These words were the absolute truth.

''I couldn't agree more, kiddo. You're my favourite person too.'' He brushed a curl of blonde hair out if my eyes and behind my ear. He kissed the top of my head. ''One day I'll rape someone again for you. You seemed to like it,'' Assef promised.

He guided me away from the alley. ''How about I challenge you to a game of pool? Huh?''

''I'll kick your ass just like I kicked your ass in volley ball!'' I exclaimed.

''That was a draw, kiddo,'' Assef replied.

I rolled my eyes. ''Right. Of course it was!'' I said sarcastically. ''Sore loser, are you?'' I teased.

''Oh I'm gonna get you for that!'' Assef replied.

''Noooo!'' I shouted, laughing as I took off running away from my brother. I sprinted ahead of Assef, almost tripping over myself in my haste. My hair fell over my face as I laughed in utter joy. Assef caught up to me as we reached the edge of the town, the bridge connecting the back of Amir's house. I could see it in the distance.

By now, it has started to rain slightly. My brother picked me up ground the ground and began tickling my ribs. I shrieked with laughter and began fighting against him. ''No! Ahhhh! Hahaha! Assef!''

''Say I'm not a sore loser and I'll stop,'' he ordered.

''Okay! Okay! You're not a sore loser! Okayyy! Now stop tickling me!'' Assef set me down.

''That's my girl.''

Up ahead, I could see Hassan and his father Ali walking towards us. Their very livelihoods on their backs. I looked at my brother in confusion. I couldn't yet see the looks on their faces, but from the way Hassan held his shoulders down, this wasn't good news for them at least. I noticed Amir watching them go.

He stood close enough to where we were. I decided to ask what was happening. ''Where is Hassan going?''

Amir looked at me. ''He stole my watch. So he's leaving,'' he admitted.

''But where?'' I asked again.

''To Hazarajat. Or some place! I DON'T KNOW!'' he all but screamed in frustration, throwing his hands up. Then he caught sight of the venomous look Assef gave him. ''I have to go.'' He sprinted back to the house. I could care less about how he had just spoken to me.

Though I'm sure later I would become pissed off. But for now, pure joy was all that I felt. The rain didn't matter. The fact my hair was dripping wet didn't matter. What mattered was that Hassan was gone forever! I whooped in delight as his form got smaller and smaller! Assef picked me up in his arms and spun me around. ''He's gone! He's really gone!'' I shouted in German. I could see Hassan and Ali getting into Yusef's car.

''Gone forever, kiddo. That's one Hazara down,'' Assef responded. I could honestly not contain my emotions. I was the happiest I had ever been! Only the rape could top this!

''How's about that game of pool kiddo?'' Assef asked. I nodded, smiling, still dripping with rain water. He took my hand and began to lead me away. 'You won in the end, Saria,' I thought myself as the car in the distance got smaller and smaller, taking with it one of our worst enemies. 'Yes, in the end, we both won.'

Coming up in the next chapter, an old foe of Assef's has a score to settle and it is Saria who pays the price... Please leave PMs, reviews and subscribes.

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