Darkness was everywhere. It pressed against her ears like heavy hands. With every second it got heavier and harder to bear. When her eyes were open, she could see nothing. When they were closed, the weight of the darkness made them ache.
Once again she reached out for the wall. Her fingers brushed the cold dampness of the stones. Gingerly moving her hands, she grasped for the door. It was still there. Strong and unyielding, the solid oak was harsh against her bruised palms.
Her hands still smarted from her desperate outcry a few hours ago. She had stood beating the door with her hands and screaming her anger and frustration at those on the other side. She was sorry for what she had done wrong and she kept telling them that. The guard had probably left; if not, her cries still got no response. The bare walls of her cell remained indifferent to her plight.
Her throat tightened painfully at the thought. Finally, the tears had come. The anger boiled down to sorrow. The frustration gave way to hopelessness. She had sunk to the floor and cried herself to sleep, only to awaken to cold darkness and hunger pains in her stomach. Too weak to stand, she had pulled herself to the middle of the closet and sat there in a daze until now.
While straining to hear, her ears had gone deaf. Her eyes were sightless opened or closed. She smelled mildew, mold, and stale air. Her hands and cheek told her that the door was just as solid as before. Slowly she sank within herself. Trying to remove herself from the pain she reached deeper. Soon she didn’t feel the cold or hunger. No longer did she smell the air or feel the rough wood. Was this what it was like to die? No, it was just sleep.
Suddenly, she awoke when someone opened the door. She fell forward onto the hard floor beyond the door and into a blinding light. As her eyes grew accustomed to the light, she could make out a man standing over her and offering her his hand.
“Come,” he said, “I can save you.”
Shakily she reached toward him. He took her hand, never to let go again.