Samir got off the plane at Heathrow airport feeling rather troubled. Someone was watching him at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport before he boarded the plane. He caught the man's inquiring looks twice, and the interest that stranger showed in him, wasn’t curiosity alone. Turning back from the flight company's counter, after having finished his arrangements there he caught the man's glance for the first time. He must have been an Arab much older than Samir, in his late thirties no doubt. He had short curly black hair and a rather dark complexion. A thin moustache adorned his upper lip. He was well dressed and his fine and elegant cloths were an odd contrast to the two blond teenagers in jeans, who sat next to him and seemed very embarrassed by their strange neighbor.
The moments their eyes met that man averted his look and watched the two teenagers, as if he was about to join their conversation. Sitting not far off Samir kept a vigilant watch on his compatriot, while pretending to be interested in the two good looking teenagers.
In a matter of seconds the stranger asked his pretty neighbors a question, and having received his short answer he got up and left the bench straight away. He was a big and heavy-set man, six foot one at least.
The rather short episode seemed at first meaningless, some strange coincidence and nothing more.
All in all it looks as if He is attracted to the two pretty teenagers that’s what it seems, Samir thought at first somewhat relieved. He was free now to appraise the two young blonds’ pretty faces, their lithe bodies; they looked like beautiful dolls, so delicate, so unreal and so enchanting – so incredibly sweet they were.
Some twenty-five minutes passed, and queuing before the gate next to the two young teenagers, ready to embark amid the rest of the passengers; Samir saw his strange compatriot’s eyes once again. He leaned on a counter asking the ground hostess something, or was just chatting with her – but his eyes kept watching Samir’s movements and whereabouts. He didn't leave this time and kept on watching Samir or the two young blonds, till they crossed the gate and were out of his sight.
On their way to the plane, while he was walking beside the two young girls, Samir listened to their excited chatter. They were Scandinavians no doubt and he couldn't understand a single word of their rather excited conversation. But as most of them as far he knew could speak English, he decided to take advantage of the opportunity that was about to sneak away in just a few seconds.
‘Excuse me, do you speak English?’ He turned to the two teenagers, interrupting their lively conversation. They were deeply surprised and stopped abruptly whatever was being discussed between them in their native language; they turned their eager and curious faces towards him. The nearest one got pale the other one blushed up to the roots of her blond hair. It seemed as if they were experiencing the adventure they had so much anticipated for – a good looking stranger was making a pass at them, at that very instant.
‘Could you tell me please what that big man, who sat next to you asked you?’
‘What is that to you?’ The nearest girl asked him in a confused stammer.
’Please, it’s a matter of…’ Whispered to them Samir clearing his throat. They were approaching the plane and the few first class passengers started their break away march, leaving the main group. Bowing his head toward these two young girls, he did all he could, his utmost to let them understand, how important that matter was for him. Biting his lips time and again, taking a deep breath, pulling a long and worried face – and it worked and brought him his reward.
‘He said something in Dutch I think, something we didn't understand and went away.’ the nearest one answered him, just before they had to part.
So that was it, got him the bastard...! One riddle is solved Allah be praised, the easiest one though… That stranger wasn't fascinated by the two teenagers and wasn't their ‘au-paire’ either! But if Samir had more training and experience, he wouldn't have needed to ask and verify such an obvious fact.
Now who could that Arab be...? He pondered sitting in the plane's first class cabin, too busy with loose ends and anxieties, to pay any attention to the plane's taxiing and taking off.
That man must be an agent but whose agent he is, I can't know of course... Is he really an Arab? He looked like one... In any case, I can't ignore that episode as a harmless one, or simply forget it and carry on as if nothing happened. That big man could have been there to cover me, see me safely off – or pry and find out where I am bound for. If that’s the case I shouldn't worry at all. But what if that man was a Mosad agent, some cursed traitor or a Jew that was born and raised in an Arab country...
© Haim Kadman 1991 – all rights reserved.