The night was defined by a pouring rain and it was as dark as could be, and the woman walking down the street didn’t know anyone in the city. The streets were empty now. Empty and wet. The woman’s name was Layla and despite the fact that she was in her mid-thirties, the bruises and the run-down makeup made her look as if she were entering her sixties.
Layla’s brisk gait was accompanied by her looking back every now and then. In a certain moment, as she turned her head to make sure that the street behind her had remained empty, she was able to catch from the corner of her good eye a small family behind one of the windows. The young parents were playing with their infant child, all dressed in thick sweaters made of wool, sitting next to an inviting fireplace, all the while the piercing wind and the freezing raindrops were mercilessly stabbing and lashing at her uncovered knees, ankles, and neck.
After a few yards Layla suddenly halted to a stop. She squatted, supporting her back against one of the brick walls, and covered her face in her bony hands. Apart from the heavy rain and the fierce wind, her sobs were additionally muted by the water that was being violently pushed out of the adjacent gutter right unto the puddle in the cracked sidewalk. In her thoughts she lamented that never had a man adorned her lips, cheeks, or forehead with a kiss. They had always and solely decorated her face with black and purple bruises by means of blows and punches.
Something – she didn’t know whether it was caused by a higher power or simply a spasm of her neck muscles – made her look up at the dark clouds and the plunging raindrops. And in those cruel weather conditions she found consolation; in a way she knew she was not completely alone, for the skies were crying with her.