Chapter 1: Wrong Target!

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He went about his days as per normal. Nothing significant happened; he would go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 'religiously' from seven o'clock to nine o'clock in the evening. But for this week, he had to go on Tuesday as there was something special going on tomorrow. This week, he had a staff meeting at work otherwise what was about to happen, would have been avoided. However, what was meant to happen was always going to happen no matter what.

He would compete with his training buddies but they weren't serious. The objective was getting a lean body and staying fit. He was a semi built man of average height with a fashionable beard. Even with his simplicity, he looked amazing to some colleagues but he genuinely took no notice of the women.

He couldn't work out much today because he only did it yesterday and he was only doing it today because he will miss tomorrow's one. Instead of two hours, he only trained for half of the time but whilst he was there he did some grilling work out and now he was exhausted.

He came out with his gym bag through the security barriers. As he exited the glass sliding double doors, he could be seen in a pair of grey tracksuit bottoms and a grey zip-up hooded top with no vest or t-shirt underneath due to the heat that his body exerted. He thought of walking out topless but decided against it because he didn't want to be seen as show off.

He was not expecting what happened next, nobody ever does. Cars were dragging pass in the boring inner-London speed, twenty miles per hour.
He really hated the sound of some vans, they brayed like fat, pregnant donkeys. Jamal wasn't one of those millennials who listened to music with AirPods everywhere they go. His hot ears could sense one such donkey approaching from behind as he was heading towards the traffic light. He was almost run over by a white van on Bethnal Green Road. He heard the driver shout out "Black Muslim c**t!" as they passed him.

The vehicle had to stop at the junction of Bethnal Green Road opposite the Salmon and Ball pub due to an unavoidable red light.

He walked up and met two cowering white males. Jamal interrogated, "Not very @&£?$€¥ brave now are we? You want me to drag you out for an old fashioned two on one?"

The driver cried out, "Have a day off mate!" sounding a little scared and pathetic.

His anger dissipated and he decided to delete the picture he had taken of the vehicle. The photo was still in his delete box. He then shrugged and walked off as people looked at him surprisingly. He thought he would ignore it and let it go.

He was in two minds "did I do the right thing forgetting about it? Will they be further emboldened if not reported?"

He couldn't go home straight away. Later that night, he justified to his friends "I guess this behaviour is normal to people like this who have not been challenged or been offered out".

He didn't want to break peace and happiness from his family members. He didn't want to ruin their pleasant anticipation for tomorrow. In times of need like this, he would go to his close few who were friends indeed.

He wanted to hear what they would advise him. Over tea, coffee and mojito in a desert bar, he tried to unwind and make up his mind about what to do about it.

Lucas demanded "report it. There is already a massive downplaying of Islamophobic incidents".

Daniel did not agree "No, no. they could use your 'threat' of 'two on one' as a way of getting out of trouble. Just post their picture and company logo. The public will do the rest".

Ray agreed with Ahmed "In this climate, you must report it as a hate crime. Can't be letting this go. It could be somebody's mother next or worse these nutters may hurt somebody!"

Lucas stressed "Deffo report him to the police as a hate crime and the company, inform MEND. How dare they?"

The one who kept silent sitting next to Jamal concluded "Report it to the police... these cretins need to learn about consequences... you today who knows who it will be tomorrow someone maybe not as mentally strong as you. Some people really do make me dislike our country at times!!"

It was clear from this group who was the leader type and who was a soldier type; more than anything else they were best of friends. They talked a little more about tomorrow on the walk to his car, after which they dispersed and Jamal returned with a somewhat clear mind.  

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