Thirty Five [The Alleyway]

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"Hey! ARA bitch, where ya goin' so fast?"

Harry's head whips to the side to focus down the thinned out sidewalk, spotting the intruder with the coarse and slimy language in a heartbeat. A tall man that he doesn't recognize, broad shoulders and the cherry of a cigarette turning bright orange against the backdrop of nightfall as he sucks smoke into his lungs. Harry narrows his eyes and feels the burn of anger brewing in his stomach just before his thoughts are vacuumed clean by the sound of high heels clacking against pavement. His mouth shapes the word that he's come to associate with you, his teeth scraping across his bottom lip on the heavy consonant sound, his heartbeat thumping two times before coming to a screeching halt.

"Didn't I see you at a protest last week with all of your dumbass, crunchy friends talking shit about peace? You're all a waste of space. Can't even see the truth when it's right in front of you. You're a terrorist." His voice echoes near and slurs with intoxication, "I'm talking to you, little girl."

The click of high heels draws closer and Harry glances over his other shoulder just in time to witness you coming into focus. The scent of your shampoo seals his sinuses shut and the beat of his heart sounds a lot like the Big Bang on repetitive loops, his shaky hand lifting into the air to reach for you as you pass only to miss the delicacy of your skin by a few centimeters. He turns on the ball of his foot and follows right behind you, his eyes set on the way your hair flutters over your shoulders and how narrow your waist and legs look in comparison to the last time he'd seen you. His chest feels heavy with the desire to coddle you and assure you that he's alive and marginally okay, to kiss you and hold you and regard you but the glass wall that surrounds him in this state forces him into silent discomfort.

You're bold as you continue to walk in the direction of the man harassing you on the street corner, having dealt with your fair share of shit talkers and ignorance throughout the years of being a staunch ARA. You roll your shoulders back to release tension from your neck as you strut closer, your voice husky from shouting over loud music all evening, "the only waste of space on this block is the pile of garbage spewing ignorant hate at a stranger. If you'll excuse me-"

He interrupts you to carry on his creepy threatening, "I saw you at Pink Moon tonight," Harry can see your fingers grip tightly around your waist at the stranger's revelation and he knows it's not from the cold air. You stop walking when he mentions your job before taking a step backwards and scanning the nearly-empty streets for an escape route or help, but you know that no one is interested in helping someone who sympathizes with Adroits, "an activist and a hooker, huh? I said come here."

You spin and start walking back from the way you came, your feet carrying you much faster this time in an effort to flee. Harry's fingers curl into fists as the harasser flicks his cigarette before approaching behind you slowly, a soft and baneful melody whistling past his lips as he gains speed on your stride. Just as you lower one foot off of the sidewalk and prepare your muscles to take off running, he jogs a couple steps and grabs your bicep tightly. Harry's throat and insides tighten as he reacts in an instant, his hands reaching out to grip the back of the harasser's shirt but no matter how hard he tries or concentrates, he's unable to make contact with him.

You gasp in fear as your body is jerked backwards and tugged close to the man assaulting you, "don't touch me!" You raise your arm to strike him but he catches your wrist and squeezes tightly, the two of you struggling against each other as you whimper and tug and attempt whatever you can to unweave yourself from his clutch, "I said get your fucking hands off of me!" You cry out in pain when he grabs a fistful of your hair and drags you towards the alleyway where Harry had entered his premonition, the attacker's strength overpowering you when he gathers both of your wrists in one of his hands and slams you up against the brick wall.

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