Broken Trust

Submitted by Kyleigh on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 18:22

I don’t know why I did it.
I wish I hadn’t.
She used to trust me, and I broke that trust.

“If they catch us, they’ll think you’re the spy,” She’d said. “I couldn’t let that happen.”
I looked away from her, ashamed at what I knew.

I watched as they kicked her awake, then put a sword to her throat. I wish I could’ve done something then to save her, but I wasn’t ready to risk my life. As they hauled her to her feet, fear shone in her eyes. She glanced at me.
And I looked away.

To this day, it still hurts to remember all that. Even though we did eventually make up.

There I go, rambling down rabbit trails. You’re probably wondering what in the world I’m talking about, who she is, and all that who what when where why how nonsense.

We’re going to have to go back in time to answer your questions.
Back a long time.
Thirty years, more like.


I was fourteen that year. Well, “that” year doesn’t quite do.
It was the year that the rebels began to pull out of the rut. See, for the past five years a large group of people rebelled against the government because it was becoming corrupt. My dad and I lived in an apartment in the middle of town. It was noisy, the walls were thin, and it was dirty. The thatched roof was falling apart, so the people on the top floor complained about leakage during the rainy season. Tenants on the bottom floor got snow seeping in the cracks at the corners. Smack in the middle, all we got was noise.
I remember being so excited to turn fourteen, my dad decided that he would start teaching me swordplay. And turned out to be very useful.
My dad and I didn’t always get along, he was on the side of the government, while I wasn’t sure which side to take. My friends and I would often discuss politics during breaks in our sports, and I would try not to take sides, sometimes fights would break out, and the outcome was not pretty.

Three months later, enter Philana. She was also fourteen. The first time I saw her, I thought she was beautiful. Her long brown hair was neatly brushed and tied back with a lavender ribbon. She was wearing a plain brown dress like the other young girls, but I was drawn to her face. She nodded briefly to me as she passed by, and I nodded back. I didn’t see her again for a few months, and when I did it was under totally different circumstances.
She had been chosen to make the trek to the city, to get some information from the government. Yeah, working as a spy. Her father basically led the rebels in our town, and her mother, like mine, had died in the plague that had swept the town when we were children. My father was against her going alone, and so, without my saying anything, he suggested I go along. I guess he thought I’d want to. At least that’s what I thought at the time. Little did I know that I would end up a turncoat.
My dad got home from the meeting that night, sat down on a floor cushion, and told me to sit down next to him. I plopped down on the floor.
“Rory, you’re going on a trip tomorrow.”
“‘You?’ Not ‘we?’”
“You,” My dad emphasized the you this time, “are going to the city.”
“Philana, the leader’s daughter, is going as a spy.”
“Dad, I thought you were against the rebels.”
“That’s my point exactly. One, I don’t want a young girl out in the wild alone. And two, you can turn her in.”
“I don’t think that’s right, dad. So I’m going to protect her from the very thing I’m going to turn her into.”
“I’m not worried about when she gets to the city, it’s along the way you’ll need to protect her.”
“I still find it pretty ironic.”
“Doesn’t matter what you think. You’re going. Get your sword, an extra tunic, and some food.”
I started packing, dad’s words ringing in my head. I’m not going to turn her in. I couldn’t do that, not to anyone, especially not to a girl, and more especially not to… well, not to her.
We set off on foot the next morning. I was quiet, my mind focused on the night before. She watched me curiously, her head tilted to the left the slightest bit. Her brown eyes studied me carefully. A thought flashed across my mind, and I tried to hold back a smile. It was a stupid thought, and after I thought it I had to try to keep from looking at her. I wondered if she had ever noticed me when I was out in the town playing sports with the other boys before… if she noticed me like I noticed her. But that was stupid.
I wondered how I could do what dad wanted me to do. I couldn’t imagine turning her in. It just didn’t seem right. Philana had gotten a little ways ahead of me, and now she stopped to look back, poised up on a flat rock, the wind playing with her hair.
“You coming?” She asked.
“Yeah.” I shifted my bag to the other shoulder. “Sorry,” I mumbled as I passed her. She fell into step behind me, and we walked in silence for a while. I still couldn’t work anything out. I wanted dad to be proud of me. But it was wrong to do that to a girl, even if she was my enemy. Wait, correction, I didn’t mean to think that. Even if she was my dad’s enemy.
I wondered how long I would have before I would have to turn her in. If I did. Man, was this ever confusing. I should’ve found one of my friends to talk it over with before we left. It probably would’ve helped.
Midday came and left, we ate a meal, then kept going. My bare feet hurt from the stones. Philana had no shoes, either, and I made a mental note to make some… or at least try someday. I could be a shoemaker. Ha. Riiight.
We entered the forest a little while before dark, and I could tell Philana was trying to be brave. To tell the truth, I was, too. But I didn’t want a girl to see I was afraid. Besides, it was only a bunch of trees… with wild animals… and it was dark… and… and scary. I shivered. Philana stepped closer.
“W-why don’t we make a fire?” I suggested, trying to sound like I knew what I was doing.
“We’d have to go find wood.” She pointed out.
“We’re going to want a fire sooner or later, why not do it now while it’s still light, at least some?”
She sighed, letting her sack fall from her shoulder. “I’ll make camp, you go.”
I nodded nervously, then took my cloak from my bag. “I’ll be back before too long.”
To this day, I don’t know how long I spent looking for wood. But when I got back with an armload of it, Philana had laid out both of our blankets and dug a fire pit.
And now I gotta make the fire.
So I stuck some of the wood in the pit and added twigs and dead leaves for kindling. Then I didn’t know what to do. She must have realized that, because she gently took the wood and showed me how… and told me to do it. Taking a deep breath, I repeated her actions. A spark! Then another! Then my cloak caught fire… I dropped the wood in, and the fire started to burn as I stamped out the fire in my cloak. When I finished, I glanced toward Philana, who was trying her best not to laugh.
“Good job with the fire,” she said.
I grunted.

The next morning we packed up camp quickly and started off again.
We were quiet for most of the morning, concentrating on our direction while still in the forest. When we finally got out, we took a quick rest, then went on our way again. It was awkward, walking side by side and no one talking.
“So… uh… Philana…”
She coughed, and I guessed she was trying to suppress a laugh. I rolled my eyes. Why couldn’t I do this?
“You lived in Byshan your whole life?”
Well, there, I tried. I just couldn’t make conversation with a girl. And that was that. We trudged on in silence for a while, just looking at the scenery, which was now quite unfamiliar. But Philana seemed to know where to go.
“Do you sing?” She asked after a while, tilting her head again, this time to the right. She was smiling faintly, and her eyes danced.
I scratched at my nose. “Some. Not really.”
She broke into a Byshani folk song, and I couldn’t help but join in. So we sang. If there was a song I didn’t know, she’d teach it to me. Or sometimes she’d sing alone. She had a low voice, for a girl, but it fit her well. At the moment, mine was a teensy bit higher than hers, but it wouldn’t stay like that for long.
We stopped outside a small town, and I put my cloak on to cover my sword, but kept my hand on it at all times. You never know what might jump out at you in strange and unfamiliar territory. We got a few strange looks, but that was all, and we were through. I breathed a sigh of relief. We’ll just say I wouldn’t be considered good with a sword.
I felt more comfortable with Philana now, and I think she did, too. Conversation still didn’t come easily, but we had something in common, and it kept us busy during the day. So I wasn’t troubled with my decision until evening. I was still as torn as ever. Something changed during the night. I don’t know what it was. I got up, scribbled a note in the dirt to Philana, telling her I’d be back soon and not to worry. Then I ran. I ran back to the village, and up into a government building. There was a single light on, and I ran to that room, pounding on the door. It opened, and I almost fell inside.
“What in the world are you doing at this time of night?” An elderly man asked.
I gasped for breath as I spoke. “I have news from the rebels… there’s a young girl traveling with me. And she is a spy. She’s sleeping a few miles from here. It would be best… to be intercepted tomorrow night.”
Then I turned and left. It was done. I couldn’t take back what I’d just said… and as I left the building I was already regretting what I’d just done. Philana shouldn’t have been turned in. It was wrong… I’d been ready to protect her just that morning, and already I was… I was going against that.
It was almost light when I got back to the camp, and Philana was just waking up.
“Where were you?” She demanded. “I was starting to get worried.”
“Sorry,” I muttered. “Things took longer than I thought.”
Then she said it. It kinda came from nowhere, but it hurt like a knife.
“If they catch us, they’ll think you’re the spy,” She’d said. “I couldn’t let that happen.”
I looked away.
Then I started to shake. “I’m sorry, Philana… I’m so sorry.”
She furrowed her eyebrows. “Sorry for what?”
“We need to get moving.”
And that was all I said. I could’ve saved her again. But I was scared of what she’d think of me. Of what she’d say or do.
Most of all I was scared of the sad truth:
I was a coward.


I had to work hard to keep the tears back as we walked that day. Already I was wishing I hadn’t done it. I don’t know why I had, it just kind of happened. Well, I can’t claim that. I did it, and now I can’t take it back, and it hurt. We trudged on in silence, and if Philana had wanted to talk I probably wouldn’t have. I saw her look my way a few times, and she had a strange expression on her face. She was probably wondering what I had done that night.
I couldn’t undo what I had done, but I could protect Philana tonight. Or try, anyway.
Darkness fell, and we made camp in a small cave. After dinner, Philana went to bed, and I sat in the cave entrance with my sword across my lap, trying to feel brave.
Then I heard voices and clanking armor. I scrambled to my feet, holding my sword in readiness. My hands were shaking as I held it, and I wanted to run and hide in the back of the cave. A soldier turned into the cave entrance, and my sword wobbled.
“Drop your sword, boy.” The soldier commanded. Two more soldiers came in, drawing their swords. I sheathed my sword, then with a nod from the first soldier, the other two began to back me up against a wall.
I watched as they kicked her awake, then put a sword to her throat. I wish I could’ve done something then to save her, but I wasn’t ready to risk my life. As they hauled her to her feet, fear shone in her eyes. She glanced at me.
And I looked away. Coward.

At first they half-dragged her out of the cave, and the two soldiers who had me up against the wall let me go so I could follow. Philana kept turning around to look at me… and every time I looked away, even though she never managed to turn around enough to see me. I wished they had blindfolded her. When we crossed the river, a soldier picked her up and slung her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
I remembered when my dad used to carry me around like that… back when my mother was still alive and we had fun together. That seemed like so long ago now.
Deep in my thoughts, I looked up at the moon. In the ring of light around it, there was a single star. It would rain tomorrow. Clouds moved in and covered the moon, yet we moved on through the night, but not very quietly as it’s always said.
We walked on a wide road, the small rocks making up the gravel cutting into my bare feet. I winced as I took each step, and soon cold, wet, and sticky blood left tracks on the road. Was this ever a bad idea.
Note to self: never betray a friend. Among other things, shame, cowardice, and cut feet will follow.
At least Philana didn’t have to walk. Draped over the soldier’s shoulder, she could very well have been asleep.
It was strange… even though I hated that I had turned Philana in, there was something there, some feeling I had never felt before, a feeling that I liked. It could have been pride, maybe superiority, which, I guess, those two are the same or at least go together. The cowardice was still there, though, gnawing away at my thoughts. I hated being confused like this, especially when I wasn’t able to work it out very well.

I stumbled on the road, and fell down, rocks cutting my hands. Muttering under my breath, I scrambled to my feet. On the way up, my wrist brushed my sword hilt. I’d forgotten that I was armed. Not that it would help, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. The hills in my feelings kept rolling up and down, up and down… then there was a higher up, a lower down, an even higher up… and I pulled the sword out of its hilt. I’d gotten Philana into this mess, I’d get her out of it.
Whirling on the soldiers behind me, I swung the sword in a giant arc. Then as I turned to attack one, the other grabbed me from behind. I struggled to do two hard things at once, but soon focused on getting away from my captor (or were they Philana’s captors? Or both?), only for everything to become black.

I groaned and tried to sit up. Or, at least it felt like trying to sit up. I wasn’t really lying down, I was being carried in the same manner as Philana. My head hurt. So did my feet and hands, both of which were caked with blood. I glanced up, seeing the third soldier behind me, wearing my sword and sword belt.
“He’s come-to.” The soldier said, and I was set back down on my feet, then fell to the ground. My feet felt like they wouldn’t work. But I was yanked up and forced to walk. One foot in front of the other. Left. Right. Left. Right. Pain shot through my body with each step. They had only been carrying me because I could not walk. Which meant they were in a hurry. I slowed a bit when the pain grew worse, and was shoved roughly forward.
So I was no longer their spy.
I, like Philana, was their prisoner.


Would my father be proud of me?
I kept asking myself that, again and again. I was not proud of what I had done, not in the least. My mind was filled with unanswered questions.
Why had I done it?
What was going to happen?
How could I get Philana to forgive me?
How could we get away?
What would my father say?
Would he be proud?

Late the next day we entered the city. Philana was made to walk now, and they bound our hands in front of us as we went through the gate. This time I looked at her, but she was staring at her feet. Philana… oh, Philana… I’m so sorry.
They locked us down in a deep, dark, dungeon and left us alone. It was more of a hole in the ground with a grating on top, but it was big and the cold dirt felt good under my feet. Philana huddled in a corner, and from the way her shoulders shook, I knew she was crying. I wanted to say something, but didn’t know what. She wouldn’t believe me, and I’d just make a fool of myself.
So I looked around the dungeon, trying to find a place we could hide from the government or get out. It was dirt, but I didn’t think it would work to dig out, that would take forever and the walls of the city were probably really deep, and since the dungeon was right near the wall, that wouldn’t work so well.
A little later, Philana got up and began walking around. I knew saying “sorry” wouldn’t work on Philana. But she didn’t even know what happened.
“Philana, I…” I began. “I have a confession.”
She looked in my direction, her eyes listening… well, not really, but it kind of seemed like that.
“I did something I shouldn’t have. It…” I groaned and tried again. “That night, when I…” I leaned up against the wall, looking away from her. “I went back to the town and told them who you were.”
“I don’t understand…” She said, but I didn’t hear her.
“My dad put me up to it. It was a struggle from the beginning. I don’t know why I ended up doing it, and now I hate myself for it. If I could take it back, I would. I’m sorry, so sorry. I hate where it’s gotten us, I thought if I regretted what I’d done I could get you free somehow, but it looks like not. Now I’ve got to get both of us out of here…” I turned back to her. “If there’s anyway out of here, I’ll find it.”
Philana didn’t reply, instead she turned away and didn’t speak to me for two long, dark, lonely days.


Those two days were the longest in my life. We sat in the dark, neither one speaking to the other, both thinking. I was thinking of ways to get out, and staring up at the grating. The first afternoon it rained, and we sat in the corners of the dungeon, waiting for the rain to go away. The sun finally came out, and I looked up at the grating hopefully. I don’t know why, there wasn’t any hope left in my world at that time. I wished there was a ladder leading up to the grating, at least then there’d be a sliver of hope, and still only maybe.
My thoughts went everywhere, and I couldn’t keep them under control. I thought about Philana, what I had done to her.
I thought about my father back in Byshan.
I thought about the rebel cause… and which side I was on.
And then I focused on how to get out, but the second day came and went, and I still had no ideas.
It rained again on the morning of the third day, and so we were stuck in the corners again until around noon. I think both of us were getting a little tired of silence, and that afternoon Philana spoke to me.
“So how do we get out?” She asked.
“I don’t know.” I stared up at the light flowing in through the criss-crossing of the grating. We were quiet for a while, then she bit her lip and spoke again.
“Rory, I know you’re truly sorry for what you did… and I’m ready to forgive you. I have forgiven you already. So let’s stop this silence and talk and be friends like we were before that night.”
“Yeah. It’s been too quiet here, and I’m sure we’d be able to think of a way out if we put our heads together.”
We started looking around the dungeon, and an hour later we still hadn’t found anything. She looked at me again, and her eyes were full of fear again.
“What are they going to do to us?” She asked. She sounded like a child when she asked it, and I knew she was scared.
“I don’t know. I’m scared about that too, that’s why I want to get out so badly. Let’s not worry about that, we need to get out of here first. I don’t actually want to know what they’d like to do to us.”
She nodded.
“Okay. So far, I think our only way out is to dig out. It’ll take a long time, though.”
“Wait…” Philana walked under the grating. “Look, the lock on the grating is close enough to the wall that if we dug into the wall we could climb up and maybe get out that way.”
“And since the wall is dirt…”
“We could do it.”
I grinned. “Then let’s start going at it.”


Progress working on the footholds was slow. We had to get them close enough together that there wouldn’t be a stretch but far enough a part it wouldn’t be cramped climbing up. We had to use our hands to dig, and the dirt was packed tightly in to make the wall.
Dinner was lowered down in a basket on a rope, and we ate hungrily, then returned to work. By nightfall we had made some progress, and went to sleep that night with sore and tired fingers. I just prayed it would work. And that we would have enough time to finish it before anything happened to us.
After breakfast the next morning, we began hacking away at the wall again. Our fingers were sore from the previous afternoon, but we managed to make steady progress all day. Right after lunch, we’d gotten high enough to reach the grating.
Philana offered to go up, and I watched as she carefully stuck her foot in the first foothold, then began to climb. She kept her eyes focused on the grating, and when she got there, she grabbed onto the lock and examined it. After a few minutes, she came back down.
“It doesn’t look like it would be too hard to get the lock off. And once it’s off it won’t be too hard. My only concern would be guards up there.”
“Then we’ll do it at night. Taking the lock off shouldn’t be too noisy. Will the footholds hold up alright?”
Philana nodded. “I think so.”
“Then we’re all set.”

We waited impatiently all afternoon, then watched excitedly as the sun went down and the stars came out. Rain clouds covered the moon, and soon rain fell. I nodded to Philana, and then started up our foothold ladder. When I got to the top, I began working at the lock. Thankfully, it wasn’t really a lock, more of a thin strip of metal very poorly put together. I managed to get my fingers in between where it had been sealed, and pried it apart.
“Philana, I got the lock,” I said as quietly as I could with her still hearing me. Then I pushed gently on the grating. It started to move, and I pushed it to the side and then scrambled up out on the ground. I almost slipped, but caught myself just as I got to my feet. Philana began climbing up, and I grabbed a nearby stick, to use as a weapon, just in case. And it was a good thing I picked it up. Just as Philana’s hand appeared over the top of the dungeon, I heard soldiers.
“Philana, hurry!” I whispered loudly, then grabbed her wrist, pulling her up. I could hear the soldiers getting closer. Soon they’d be here. She rolled out onto the ground, and I helped her up, then, still holding onto her wrist, we ran in the other direction of the voices. Both of us stumbled a few times in the rain. We didn’t know if the soldiers were after us or not… but if they weren’t after us, what would they be after? We kept running, not really knowing where we were going, just knowing we needed to get away. Soon I began to think we were running in circles… either that, or this was a bigger city than I thought. We stopped to take a rest, and I set my stick down.
Philana sat down on the ground. “Look, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I need to get the message out still.”
I was bent over, hands on my knees, breathing heavily. “No. I’m not going to let you. It’s too dangerous to stay here any longer.”
“We came here all this way, got in all this danger, and now you’re saying we go back without doing what we came here to do. I know my way back. You don’t know the way.”
I sighed. I had to admit it, Philana was right. And… even if my father wouldn’t be proud of me, I could make the rebels proud… but that would be going against my father’s will. What would that mean? What would I tell him when I got back to Byshan?
“Okay, you’re right. Besides, I wouldn’t really mind another day in the dungeon, it would give me more time to think.”
We started walking. Philana led the way and I followed, deep in thought. I seemed to be doing a lot of thinking lately… but it made sense. I was having so much trouble with so many decisions.


So I knew one thing. Dad wouldn’t be happy with me. That was apparent.
But how much would I have to tell him? Would he accept my choices, seeing as I was growing up?
Philana stopped walking, and I ran right into the wall of a house.
“We’re here,” she said.
“I noticed.”
She knocked, and soon the door opened. It was an elderly man, white hair, white beard. His face wasn’t wrinkled much, but he smiled when he saw Philana, and his eyes crinkled.
“How’s my granddaughter?” He asked.
So this man was Philana’s grandfather. Okay.
He welcomed us inside, and we sat down near the fire. I wondered what time it was, and was freezing cold, so the fire felt nice. He brought blankets out, and I wrapped mine around me to make me warmer. My bag was long gone, with my extra tunic inside it.
Philana began telling her grandfather about everything that had happened. When she got to the night we were captured, I was thankful she didn’t say a word about what I had done… and she had fully forgiven me, I now was assured of that. Philana finished our story, and then she went with her grandfather into another room… to give the message, I assumed. So I was forgiven. But not fully trusted yet. I guess that was part of the price for being a traitor. I shivered, my tunic was still wet, and I started to think I was coming down with a bit of a cold.
We spent the night at her grandfather’s house, each of us in our own rooms with nice, cozy, warm beds. It felt nice after days on the road and in a dungeon. Early the next morning we gobbled down a big, hot, breakfast and were on our way again. Both of us trudged on wearily, wanting to be back in our homes. At first we were quiet, and then I decided to share my questions with Philana.
“Philana, you know how I told you my dad put me up to betraying you?”
“What am I gonna tell him when I get back?”
“Is this what you’ve been worrying over this whole time?”
I nodded. “I want him to be proud of me. And if I didn’t follow his instruction…”
“Just tell him the truth. You can always come live with us if you need to. And who knows – maybe he’s changed his mind by now. Lots of people have turned to the rebel cause since we started.”
“I know. Just my dad… he’s not like other fathers. Since my mom died, he’s done the opposite as your dad. Sure, he taught me swordplay, but we haven’t gotten along real well since mom died.”
“Sometimes we just need to be brave.”
I almost laughed when she said that. I’d been playing the coward so often recently… I needed a change. I looked over at Philana. “Thanks.”


We sang again after that. Almost the whole walk back we were singing. And I really felt cheerful this time – everything would work out alright. With my dad, with the rebels… with Philana. I was happy, and I hoped things would stay that way.
They didn’t.

When we arrived back in Byshan, the city was in an uproar. At least, that’s what we thought from a distance. As we got closer, we could see what it was. The government had attacked, and the rebels were fighting back. We watched from the hills, then when it was all over the next evening, we went down into the town… only to find ruins, burnt buildings, and dead bodies. A few people milled about, looking for dead loved ones. Philana ran to someone, and as that someone turned, I saw it was her father. He swept her up and gave her a big hug, then they walked together. I saw her mouth moving, and knew she was telling him the story… the full version, too. It hurt to watch her with her father. My father and I hadn’t gotten along like that in a long time.
I started to look for dad, but after searching all of Byshan, I couldn’t find him. I went to our apartment. There wasn’t much left except a single floor. I knew then that my father was dead. I moved slowly, walking to a low wall we used to play sports near. Sinking down onto it, I put my feet up on it and drew my knees up to my chest, and began to cry.
Had it really only been somewhere near a week ago that I had left Byshan with Philana? Only a little over a week ago I hadn’t had a care in the world except swordplay and sports? I hated change. And worse than change, I was an orphan. Where would I go now? I had nothing except what I was wearing, and that was torn and bloody. My life was falling to pieces around me. I was falling into deep and utter despair. Then I ran, not really knowing where, but when I stopped I was in a field with a watchtower and pile of rocks nearby. In my anger, I picked up a rock and threw it at the watchtower.
It felt good to get mad at something.
And I did it again. And again. And again. I kept at it until my arm grew tired, then I fell back onto the soft hay and lay there, unmoving, for a while.
Life no longer had any purpose.
It was just a cycle, that people went through:
Live, grow up, get a job, get married, build a family, die. Repeat with children, children’s children, friends, other family…
It felt like there was no point left in living. So what was I still doing here?
I didn’t like feeling like this; I wanted it to change.
And I wanted it to change now.
I couldn’t go on living like this, if I was going to live, life had to have a purpose, a meaning. It did for Philana, for her father. They still had each other. Where would I go? An orphan, with cut feet and nothing but the clothes on his back. Who would take me in? The world kept on turning, but I wanted it to stop. I wanted it to suddenly go hurtling into space and kill us all with it.
Yes, I wanted to die.


Life was awful for a week. I didn’t want to kill myself, that just wouldn’t work. But I sank deeper and deeper into despair and nothingness. So deep into the pit that I moved slowly and talked quietly. I ate almost nothing and did even less. I lived out in the field, going to Byshan only when I absolutely needed something. I seemed to turn into a wild man. I hated people, I hated life.

And then Philana found me. I tried to run from her, but a small tug inside held me back. So she approached me, and I stood still.
“Rory, you’ve been out here forever. It’s time to come back.”
“I don’t want to. Dad’s gone, I’ve got nothing left in the world.” I didn’t go, but I looked away.
“Come live with my dad and I. We have room, and we’re leaving for the city soon. The rebels there have triumphed.”
I turned toward her a little. “I don’t want to bother you.”
And then I turned to go.
“I want you to live with us.”
I took two stones in my hand, then set them on the ground side by side. Taking a few more, I began to build a small wall. Hope was being rebuilt I was climbing out of the pit of despair, and into a wonderful family, a home with Philana and her father.
A place where I could be happy.

And we were happy, and as the fairytales say, lived happily ever after.

That whole year was hard, though, and I don’t like to think back on it much. But it was a story that needed telling, and so I told it to you.
I thank you for listening.

Author's age when written


I've always heard writing in first person is tough...but you did it great!!! You always seem to have a good story, Kyleigh! Way to go again!

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Thanks... I find writing in first person easier, I don't know why. It may be because I can go into their thoughts and it's like writing that it's me and I can kind of feel it better.... sounds strange, I know.


I really like this story it was very good! I wasn't even planning on reading the whole thing all at once cuz it was so long but i kind of just got stuck reading it :D