The history of Kara and Jen.
She was wrapped from neck to foot in a black linen dress. A shawl formed a cowl to cover her head and shoulders. Yet I spied the outlines of modest breasts, flat tummy, and full hips. Her hands were smooth, pale, and long fingered. I imagined her strangling a man with ease-and likely enjoying it.
I texted the base and waited for a reply, which usually either came instantly or after hours of seemingly endless waiting.
I was thinking out loud: "There's only one spare tire and base camp is too far to walk. If we stay put, we run the risk of gettin' ambushed."
Afsoon laughed, "This is Mujahadeen territory. They'll kill me. They won't kill you."
She smiled, fairly beaming. Were it not for some shown broken teeth, Afsoon would be considered beautiful by any culture's standards.
"I won't let that happen."
"I believe you," she spoke softly to me. "That's why you will always lose."
"How so?" I asked, curious, not challengingly.
"You're all the same-you Americans, the Russians, the Israelis. You're too civilized to be brutal enough to destroy your enemies. You could never do to us what we would do to you."
"We have principles," I replied calmly. "But we'll stay till the job's done."
"No, you won't." Afsoon laughed at me as if I were a complete fool. "Someday you'll all be gone and we'll still be here. We live here. It's our home."
Without another word, I texted base camp and requested a Huey. Only a chopper could get us out quickly and safely. My smarty's screen read: "MESSAGE RECEIVED."
I opened the storage box and retrieved the two emergency candy bars Tate had stashed away.
"Butterfingers keep better than Hershey or Mars bars," he schooled me.
"Have it," I told my captive. "It might be a while till the chopper gets here."
With difficulty, Afsoon's cuffed hands unwrapped the candy and held it to her mouth. She gnawed at it rather than biting it. I uncapped a water bottle for her, although locals could drink the unfiltered aqua au naturel.
"Thank you, but that's not what I need."
I understood and paused to weigh the danger of her escaping after peeing. I untied her from the backseat, but kept her tethered by tying the rope to my belt. Afsoon stepped out of the jeep awkwardly and lifted her dress with her bound hands. She didn't reveal any private places, but I glimpsed her white cotton panties. She wasn't flashing fashionable string thong undies, but her underwear was a sufficiently Westernized contradiction. She crouched slightly and sent a waterfall of urine to the ground, forming a bubbly, steamy puddle at her feet.
I jumped from the jeep and said, "That looks like a good idea." I stood diagonally between Afsoon and the jeep and whipped out my dong and wee'd. She never averted her eyes, watching every drop of my whizzing.
"The sight of a man's rooster doesn't excite a woman, you know." She paused and added, "No matter how muscular it might look."
I tugged our tether to coax her back in the jeep. Instinctively, I offered my hand to help her step up. She responded with an amused and surprised smile.
"I don't know your name," she asked sweetly.
"Jake...uh, Jacob," I told her meekly, then more resolutely, "Jacob Nelson."
Afsoon smiled, whispered "Yakoob," my name in Arabic, and sipped from the plastic water bottle, her lips glistening attractively.
"How do you convince young women to blow themselves up?"
"We kidnap their family members and threaten to kill them if they don't do what we want." She answered while eating her candy, inspecting it after each nibble.
"And so they go commit suicide to protect their families?"
"Of course they do," she said, continuing to eat her candy bar in snippets. "There is no choice."
"People always have a choice," I countered. "That's the difference between our culture and yours."
Afsoon scoffed, "No, just take my circumstance right now. I'm your prisoner. You can do anything you want to me. I have no choice. I'm your slave."