49. Chapter 10 Part 2
His heavy hand supports her head as he lays her down, letting her lie in as much comfort as there is to be found in a place like this. He regrets hurting her, gently checking her numerous bruises and injuries. Why? He can’t understand why, still, she trusts him too much. Or why he loves her too much. This feeling isn’t right. But her sleeping face changes his mind, he starts pacing nervously, weighing up the consequences.
“This is right,” he tells himself. He doesn’t understand why he feels such emotions, but he does. The mechanics of the world only work with his cooperation, what if he were to step out of line? What if he ignored his task and prioritised something greater? What then? Who would discipline him? He is already in prison and death is far behind. Pain does not faze him anymore, no punishment could be worse than hurting her. What is there left to lose?
“No more!” he cries, no longer afraid. He kneels by the girl and kisses her cheek, waking her suddenly.
“It’s time to go,” he says softly. She seems confused, not sure if his affection was genuine or not. With a smile, so rarely seen, he offers her his heavy hand. She takes it and he helps her up, careful not to hurt her further.
“I’m sorry for everything,” he whispers in her ear. She stares at him in disbelief, refusing to believe the truest words he has ever said. But she can see a new life in his eyes. He lets their fingers wrap around each other, so that they walk as equals through the second door.
He kicks the door closed behind them.