Vanessa was back at the marketplace. This time, however, she was alone; she had even seen the man from before and he was not. Now, he had another 4 or five people with him, all eyeing her cautiously. One licked his lips as if she was the last chocolate bar on earth or the best thing he ever saw since wholemeal bread.
She suddenly felt uncomfortable again.
Another winked at her.
When she saw one get up, she was beginning to think he was on his way to her. Luckily, she was wrong. All she wanted to do was buy the pack of apples for her brother and leave.
The lady in front of her was too busy obsessing over some "faulty" apple. Hurry up, Vanessa thought.
She could hear the ranting and ravings and she just wanted to strangle the woman and tell her to move on, deal with it but she held her calm.
"...what do you think? I told you I want a refund! Oh, to hell with the fact that you can't give me back my money! Okay, you know what? Today, either I get another apple or a refund or, or you won't go home alive today!"
It took two men to drag her out. Two men.
When she got home, her brother asked her why she was late. She explained the lady-who-refused-to-leave-without-an-apple situation.
He listened quietly, arms folded and nodded occasionally to show he was listening.
Then she told him about the weird man and his "gang". He didn't get worried about it, showing only the slightest bit of concern. He still look like he cared, though because he told her he wasn't going to let her leave the house unless she was accompanied by a trustworthy adult who they knew well.
Sadly, the world was never a place where you could trust everyone like you knew them forever...