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Liridon Krasniqi walked in the spring sunshine; he looked at the smiling faces that surrounded him. Everywhere happy people, released from the obscurity of the harsh winter, capturing each moment and reinvigorating their senses.
He passed the small arcade booths with their electronic games machines, screaming out war cries enticing the younger generation in. Next to them bars and cafés with families relaxing, while disco bars that had been closed now prepared themselves for the onslaught of the night time revelers.
With his white t-shirt, grey jogging pants and black leather jacket Liridon’s dress style matched that of many other thirty year old males, today that was his intention, not to stand out from the crowd.
He saw the steps that lead to the café with its view over the beach and sat down at the table already occupied by a man with the swarthy skin tone.
‘We have a common language, English?’ Liridon’s questioning tone brought an unemotional response.
‘We have, but I have not come here to speak of languages, do you have what I want?’ The mono toned response was a mixture of fragmented English and Turkish. The dark glasses hid the blackness of the strangers’ eyes. Was this man the personification of evil? Liridon had met others like him, cold calculating. Evil comes in many forms and to Liridon this was just another man.
‘Seven thousand America dollars’, Liridon now matching the coldness of the stranger, as he placed an envelope on the table before him.
The appearance of the waitress startled Liridon more than his companion. ‘Nyet, Nyet, Ede, Ede’ his frantic hand gestures made it clear that her presence was not required.
‘You should have ordered something, water maybe? The girl is only trying to do her job’ again the monotone of the stranger chastising Liridon as he opened the envelope and counted the money placed inside. ‘All one hundred dollar bills, good.’
Patience had been a failing of Liridon as he retorted ‘you have your money, where is my merchandise?’
‘Take these documents and collect your merchandise from the address that is with them.’
Liridon grasped the documents instantly quelling his impatience. He scanned through the papers before him and smiled at the photograph, now pacified he looked up to the stranger ‘the Black Sea looks beautiful today.’ He felt exalted that the first stage of his plan was now complete. ‘In my country my name means Desire for Freedom.’
The stranger stood and looked out to the Black Sea, thoughtful in his posse ‘yet you desire to take the freedom of one for your purposes.’
Liridon felt no compassion at the last statement ‘this is a beautiful city, there are many beautiful women here; maybe we shall meet again?’
‘As long as men walk the earth and beautiful women walk the streets of this city then we can meet again, there is plenty of merchandise available here.’ The stranger walked away, stopping to speak to the scorned waitress, he handed her a hundred dollar bill and kissed her cheek. Liridon watched as the waitress scurried to the counter and wrote on a piece of paper before coming back to the stranger who waited for her. He watched as the stranger read what she had written; again he kissed her cheek and then descended the stairs.
Now Liridon understood, but for now he would have to collect his newly purchased merchandise.