First Steps (37)

Struggle. Love. Cry. Hope.

For Romanian click here.

A novel first published in Romanian (Eikon 2017), available in English (translated by Mihaela Alecu) on Amazon (click on the image).

Here you can read in on free, so don’t forget to Follow my blog to stay updated with all episodes.


Azade’s fever had diminished a little, but she could barely open her mouth to sometimes take a sip of water. But at least she wasn’t raving anymore. With a huge effort she stood upright, to check on Saadiya. She was holding up quite well, but Azade feared the wounds could get infected.

“Why did he do this?” asked Ghadah, silently, not to be heard, pointing with her head to Ahad’s hut.

Azade wanted to answer something but she could only issue some groans.

“Why did you provoke him?” Maha asked her.

Azade couldn’t believe her ears. Before struggling again to say something, Ghadah spoke on her behalf:

“It’s not her fault!” she said to Maha. “Don’t try to blame her, when you know that the only one who is guilty and responsible is Ahad.”

“I know but couldn’t she be a little more obedient? If she wouldn’t have made him so angry, now they wouldn’t be both as they are, and maybe he wouldn’t be so mad at us either.”

Azade was nodding ‘no’, while tears ran down her cheek.

“I can’t believe you can say such a thing,” continued Ghadah. “You know that he gets mad even if we don’t do anything, and that even if we were to do something he still gets mad, he is the problem, not us, whatever we would do.”

“Yes, I believe you,” said Maha. “But still, maybe we are able to make him calm down, to stop torturing us. To spare ourselves of this much, not everything.”

“How could we calm him down?” Ghadah asked her. “There is no way!”

Saadiya agreed with Ghadah, nodding ‘yes’, she signaled her to listen to her and to give up whatever plan she had.

Azade took her hand, fearing that she might do something insane. But Maha had made up her mind. She called one of the men that was closer:

“Hey, tell your boss that I want to say something to him.”

“What could you say to him?”

“You just let him know, and let him decide,” she said.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Ghadah slowly told her.

“It’s… not… good!” Azade struggled to say.

She was shaking her head hoping that she could make her change her mind. She already knew how this was going to end, any possible variant would end badly for Maha.

It was already too late because Ahad’s man had returned for her.

“Come!” he said briskly.

Maha gulped, but now there was no way back.

“What do you want, woman?” Ahad asked her when she was brought before him.

“I thought that you need a real woman,” she said trying to smile, “that can take care of–“

“Why did you think that?” Ahad interrupted her abruptly. “What, do I seem helpless?”

“No, master,” Maha bowed to the ground. “But a man has certain needs and desires that not every woman knows how to satisfy…”

“And you do?”

“I do,” she whispered as languishing as she could.

Ahad looked at her. She was a full woman, with well-defined forms. He thought “She looks alright!” Then another though occurred: “What if it is a trap?” What if she was offering herself unexpectedly, because she had a plan? Oh, no, “I’m not stupid!” he got mad. But if she only wants to gain some advantages “as all women want from us, men?” he grinned. He thought that, taking all necessary precaution, he could test her.

“And,” he asked her, “what could you do for me?”

“Anything you want,” she answered licking her lips. “What someone else didn’t know how,” she continued.

“Why do you bring her up?” Ahad got mad again and shouted.

He hated that the thought of Azade troubled him so much.

“I am sorry,” said Maha and she dropped to her knees before him. “Let me prove to you that not women are the same.”

Ahad took one step back. Then, he decided.

“I agree,” he said.

He took out his favorite knife, long as a sword, and pointed it at her:

“If I feel as much as a scratch, I will cut your throat!”


As Ana was a neurosurgery specialist, she couldn’t take care of Cezara herself. But she had a colleague, a specialist with many successes under her belt, including one that had made her famous beyond the limits of St. Moritz city, rescuing a victim from a car accident that then caught fire. The extrication team never gave the victim a chance, and yet, Ana’s colleague, Dr. Abrecht, operated her for hours, then she operated her again a few hours later, and again and again, day after day, until it was possible to disconnect the victim from the devices, because she was able to breathe on her own. The recovery took years thereafter, but now the former victim is the living proof that if humans puts their mind and skill for good use, they can fight the forces of nature, such as fire, and win the battle.

“I’ve never seen something like that in my life,” Dr. Abrecht confessed to Ana. “From a microbiological standpoint, this young woman is a time bomb. It is a miracle that she survived so far, considering the level of the infection, she added. I will do everything that possible, but I don’t know if…”

“What are the chances?” Ana asked.

“Very dim. Under ten percent.”

Ana knew that Dr. Abrecht never exaggerated, so she feared for Cezara’s life. She called Amanda to tell her.

“I will tell Maria,” Ana continued. “It is not going to be easy, and it is going to be even more difficult for her, but she needs to know the truth.”

“But how is it possible for her to have such an infection?” Amanda asked.

“That is what I keep asking myself,” said Ana. “There is only one explanation: Cezara caught the infection while she was being treated in the hospital, I cannot imagine how, but I expect anything, because I know what conditions they have there. Anyway, I don’t know, a team of specialists of the Government should conduct a serious investigation, because it is not possible for something like this to happen in an Occidental hospital, to be able to get away with light burns and then to die because of infection.”

“Yes, there were a lot of such statements,” Amanda confirmed, “even from doctors, who say that many could have survived if they would have been treated in foreign hospitals, from the beginning, and not only take there so long after they got infected…”

“O my God,” said Ana. “It is horrible! I cannot believe something like this is happening… I will keep you posted; I hope we will be able to win against fate once more.”



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Published by dorin

Full time husband and father; full time writer; full time artist (#fineartphotography). And in the free time, I like to travel, to read and to learn new stuff.

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