She heard his footsteps echoing down the corridor. She kept her head down. What she didn’t want at the moment was one of the guards tormenting her. The footsteps stopped in front of the cell. When there was only silence, she looked up. He was looking at her through the bars. She hadn’t ever seen this man before. There was no way he was one of her guards. The kindness in his face hid any distinct features he had. The last time she could remember seeing kindness like that was, well…
He finally spoke. “Why are you here?” His voice was soft, not at all accusing. She lowered her head but kept her eyes fixed on his.
“I, I messed up. I didn’t want to come here. But I couldn’t be good enough.” A tear ran down her face. She begged him with her eyes to believe her story. The only thing she couldn’t understand was why she wanted this stranger to believe her. For all she knew he could be a spy. Would he leave her after she had admitted the truth?
“Do you want out of this place?” He asked as he looked around at the peeling paint and stains on the floor. He turned his gaze back to her face. It took her a moment to plant the question firmly in her mind. Did she want out? Wasn’t that the dream that haunted her for so long? Isn’t that the only dream she had since being there?
“Oh yes, I don’t want to stay here.” Almost without hope, she watched to see what he would do. He slowly reached into a pocket. She heard the clink of metal. The sound with its memories almost paralyzed her. He brought his hand back out of his pocket. Something glinted inside of his hand. His hand went for the lock between them. The key slid into place. She held her breath, barely hoping. With a small click and rasping sound, there wasn’t any bars separating the two anymore.
He held out his hand. “Come with me please.” She slowly stretched out her hand and placed it in his.
“What if,’ she looked fearfully around. ‘What if they find us before we can leave?”
He stopped and looked her directly in the eye. “If you stay close to me, they can’t harm you.” Relief washed over. She moved closer to him. It had been that long since she was brought there that she didn’t know the way out.
They moved slowly down the passageway. Her legs trembled as they tried to support her body. Then there was the unmistakable sound of stomping. She knew that sound. He held her hand tighter as a guard came directly at them. The guard opened his mouth to degrade her. His look turned to terror as he recognized the man. Without a word, he pushed past the two. When the sound faded away, she looked up at the man. Who was he? She had never known anyone who wasn’t afraid of the guards.
Then she heard a sound. It was a gentle, soft noise. He was laughing. Who was this kind man who laughed at giants?