A small child sat in a lonely white room. A man came in and sat down on the ground across from him. A blindfold covered the child's eyes and his arms were tied to his chair.
The man stared at the child for a while, then he began to speak.
'Once upon a time, there was a little boy. He was very happy and his brother and parents lived happily with him. One day, he heard shouting and loud sounds coming from the room next to his. His brother came in and told him to keep still and not to move. Then he left. The next day, that little boy was not happy anymore. His brother didn't speak again, nor did his parents. The end.'
The man finished his story and was quite once more.
Then the little child spoke.
'Why was the little boy happy?' He asked the man.
The man replied, 'He had a family perhaps.'
The child spoke again.
'Why were there loud sounds in the room next to his?'
The man replied again, 'Who knows, maybe the parents were fighting.'
The child spoke once more.
'Why did his brother never speak to him again?'
The man wavered for a moment, then finally gave an answer.
'The brother is dead.'
The child fell into silence. All was still and then...
A tear. A tear ran down his face. The wet droplets staining his cheeks.
The man asked, 'Why do you cry child?'
The boy hiccuped, 'Because the story is sad.'
Now the man was silent.
'Why was it sad?' The man asked quietly.
'Because the brother died and left the his little brother.' The child wept on.
The man was surprised. He had never heard that before.
For the first time in 20 years.
The man cried.
The child asked him why he was crying. The man slowly raised his head. He untied the blindfold and the strings binding the child.
'Go on, run, tell your parents it was me. Tell the police. I'll be waiting.' The man said to the child.
The child looked at the stranger. The olive-toned skin. The long nimble fingers. Most importantly, he looked at the face. A smooth unscarred plane of features. The eyes that were so dull. But tears were streaking and staining the face and the child spoke again.
'I don't have parents, or siblings or friends. I live at an orphanage in town.'
The man was astonished but knelt once more and asked the child why he followed him astray.
'I am lonely.' The child replied to the man.
Then the man had an idea that spread from his head to his limbs and his feet and his toes.
A month later. They both return. Not prisoner and capturer. But brothers.
One 24 and a bit beyond, the other 14 and a summer.
And they both depart on a journey.
The boy says. 'Promise you'll stay with me?' And the man replies. Of course.
After all, with all they've been through.