Letting the dreams leave

Preparation for Session 5

The session that day had ended with the focus on Keira. She had explained she felt guilty, guilty because she had also suffered great loneliness and anxiety, but simply because she had been alone in an unfamiliar city. Her experience seemed to her more trivial than what Jak had suffered through. At the same time, learning what had happened to Jak in the prison greatly upset her because she didn't know what to do about it. He assured Keira that she didn't need to do a thing, he never expected her to.

Yerran left, taking Pern with her, once Keira had assured them she would be alright. In truth though, she had needed some sort of assurance that Jak was at least physically okay. That and his story seemed unreal, considering how untarnished he looked. He was surprised when she demanded he strip off his clothes. After obeying, he stood still, blushing somewhat, as Keira came very close, conducting a thorough inspection of his body with her eyes and hands. The way she touched him sent pleasurable chills through him. He calmly pointed out which scars had been the result of his torture. The work done to repair his skin, after the Eco had injured him, was so superbly conducted that very few scars remained. Those that did were very prominent. Being aware of them made her sadder somehow, so Keira, instinctively and illogically, kissed them. Jak let out a breath as he fought back a moan.

From this position, he guided his lover to their bedroom, where he began to make love to her. The position they ended up in was with Jak lying on the bed, staring up at the naked and flushed Keira saddling him. She massaged his muscles, worshipping them almost, while pressing herself down on him, forcing his manhood further into her. They shared their erotic song, groaning and sighing with each shiver and tremble of ecstasy. Eventually, Jak grabbed her sides tightly, riding his climax up into her, crying her name. Keira called out his name in return. She collapsed onto him, where his waiting arms wrapped round her. As they calmed down, they held each other, refusing to leave the warmth they shared, exchanging kisses and whispered promises.


The next morning, Jak was the one to wake up first, so he slithered out of bed and went to prepare breakfast (making sure he picked up a vest and a pair of shorts on the way). He had some music on, playing quietly in the background, while he cut up the bread and prepared the cold cuts and fresh fruit. As he finished laying the table, he smiled at the sight of a sleepy Keira shuffling into the kitchen, wearing nothing but a baggy T-shirt and scratching her bed-hair.

They ate their breakfast in a comfortable silence at first, half-listening to the relaxing music in the background. Keira stopped eating at one point, just watching Jak as he helped himself to the food.

She sighed. "I'm sorry."

He looked up in surprise. "For what?"

She waved her arm aimlessly. "I...I meant what I said. That now I know what happened to you, I just don't know what to do. With the information I mean." She looked away from him and down towards the table. "But I feel guilty too. I feel bad that I'm relieved we weren't on our own when you finally said what happened to you. That someone else was there, who's used to hearing people's bad experiences and helping."

"So you get it?" Keira looked up in confusion. "You get why I never told you before?"

She nodded. "You're not mad?"

Jak frowned. "Why would I be? It was sometimes frustrating when you kept asking, wanting to know about back then, what happened and all. To be honest, I don't think I actually knew how to explain all this before."

The female mechanic slowly shook her head in awe. "I still don't understand how...you went through all that and then you try to live a normal life? Or, you at least tried to live something like a normal life. But, the point is, you went through something so horrible, how can you just keep going? How can you just keep doing normal things? Did you think that these memories would just fade away and not bother you?"

"That was kinda the idea, yeah." The couple stared at each other. "Obviously I was wrong," sighed Jak in an open admission of shame. "Getting these light powers...it was just such a good feeling...still is really. After I felt that peace I thought I really could just move on." He let out another sigh. "For years now, I've felt as if I don't properly know who I am. I just don't...feel the way I should some of the time, I don't think of things the same way I used to. I told this to Sig some time ago and he said that's just all part of growing up, turning into adult. I don't even know how true that is, or if it's just these bad memories messing with my head."

"Now I feel really useless," murmured Keira. "I can't relate to that at all."

Jak gave her a small smile. "You're not useless. I didn't just want you listening so you could finally find out what happened to me. You make me feel good. And...Yerran's a stranger. I don't really like to open up like that normally, but it's harder when I don't know the person."

Keira returned a small smile, a shade of her pride restored. She sipped her juice as she considered something. "So? Will you do anything about those records?"

He frowned at her, suddenly growing suspicious of her intentions. "Something in them you want to know?"

She beamed a disarming smile (while he remained stony). "I'd just really like to know the names of all those doctors that took good care of you. I mean, you said you were kept asleep when they sent you to that hospital. You don't even know what those doctors looked like." She searched his face. "Aren't you even a little curious about who they are?"

His mouth tightened, but grudgingly, he admitted that he was.


Jak slowly approached the prison. It had apparently been built as a prison long before Baron Praxis came to power, so it was little wonder that it looked utilitarian and business-like, as opposed to threatening or dominating. One of its wings had been damaged during the Metal Head attack, so he could see the frame set up by the construction workers in re-building it. Due to a reduction in local population and political prisoners, capacity was not an issue.

As he entered the complex, Jak tried to equate the place to the prison as it was during his incarceration and rebellion. When he had escaped, he had noticed that many who walked by chose to do so quickly, almost acting as if the building wasn't there. Now people milled around it casually, as if they were meeting at a library or a museum. Those actually entering the complex clearly had business of some sort, so they conducted themselves as if they were attending a meeting or about to start a shift. Entering the building via the visitors' entrance, he found himself face-to-face with a weapons scanner. The Freedom Guards operating it were surprised to see him there, not completely sure how they should conduct themselves around their ruler. Even though they addressed him as 'your Highness', they ended up directing him through the scanner and telling him when he could pass through like they would with any other visitor. Jak had made sure he would cause as little trouble as possible; Dr. Falton had told him in his message that no weapons were allowed in the complex, also sending a list of other disallowed items.

Behind the scanner was a reception area, with all doors locked. Jak said he had an appointment with Dr. Falton, which the receptionist found. Said receptionist instructed how to register himself in the visitors' list while he contacted Dr. Falton to confirm his location. Pretty soon, the ruler was handed a badge to wear and a guard escorted him to the medical bay. Along the corridor, after the guard had unlocked the door from the reception area, Jak noticed the area was relatively quiet and calm. Every so often he saw a guard, admin worker or cleaner walking along, but that was it. Some of the guards, though, gave him wary looks. He felt uncomfortable as a result, thinking he knew why the guards gave him such wary looks...he had been attacking them when mistaking them for Krimzon Guards not too long ago.

As they neared the medical bay, he was surprised to find two guards stationary outside the entrance. This was a detail he didn't recall from his incarceration; had there always been a pair of guards standing outside? He supposed that must have been the case because it was the only explanation as to why Krimzon Guards had never patrolled the inside of the medical bay (apart from when they had brought him to his physical). His escort gestured and one of the guards opened the doors, having them slide back.

As soon as they entered, Dr. Falton strode out of the office, holding a drip. Jak was convinced the doctor had greyed since they had last met.

In any case, the doctor smiled in greeting. "Right on time, just wait there, will be with you in a moment." He nodded at the escorting guard. "I'll take it from here, James."

"Sure thing, Lev, see ya."

So the escort left and the good doctor entered one of the medical cells, talking to another staff member and speaking to the prisoner inside. Jak took this opportunity to stare around him. Nothing seemed to have changed. A wave of near-nostalgia washed over him, making him realise how much of a comfort this place had been to him during his two years of forced imprisonment. There was no music playing, currently, but he knew what kinds of music he would hear. He stared through the glass into the doctor's office, where the examination bed was unmoved. Idly, he tapped the windows and found they were made of plastic, not glass. Makes sense, avoids injury.

He allowed his mind to wander back to the last time he had been here.


Jak awoke with a start, panting, gasping for breath, heartbeat racing at break-neck speed. He couldn't move. He struggled against his restraints. Why couldn't he move?!

"Jak, Jak! Calm down. Easy." He felt hands gripping his shoulders. "It's me, it's Dr. Falton. You're in the medical bay." He stared at the familiar doctor, relaxing at the sight. He stopped struggling, breathing rapidly and allowing himself to flop back onto his bed, staring up at the dark ceiling. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop himself shaking. He also wondered why he was here. I was hurt...how? There was also something wrong, something he couldn't consciously point out. Feeling the straps holding him down made him anxious, so he struggled against them unconsciously. "Jak, I'll get these straps off you, just do not struggle." Jak could only stare up at the doctor in confused desperation.

The straps did come off; the patient's immediate reaction was to try and sit up, but his own body felt unfamiliar and impossibly heavy. His stiff arms struggled to bend the way he wanted them to and they kept sliding in their efforts to support his weight. The doctor helped him sit up and held on to him; Jak was thankful for this as his only wish was to flop forward. Every movement he made caused his heart to race and a heavy taste lingered in his mouth.

He tried to say something, but all that came out of his mouth was a series of wretching coughs.

"OK Jak, bring your legs over here." The patient found his legs even more hesitant to move than the rest of his body. Dr. Falton pulled the legs towards him, forcing them off the bed. He kept his arm around Jak, then pushing him gently off the bed, so the patient could be forced to stand. Half-heartedly, said patient tried to lift an arm around the doctor's shoulders, with the hope of supporting himself. Dr. Falton only made Jak take a few steps before the teenager keeled over and collapsed. The doctor brought the nearby bin towards them and brushed back the young patient's long, fair hair. Jak gave in to the sensations mastering his body and spent the next few minutes vomiting.

He felt weak, helpless, deprived, cold, sick and miserable. He felt even worse as he became consciously aware that the contents of his stomach were non-existent. He was mostly coughing as he tried to get rid of the sickness pervading his stomach. And the taste in his mouth that refused to dissipate. He could only groan non-committedly as his body slowly calmed. He also became aware of 2 other things: the first was that his body was heavily bandaged and taped-up, the second...

"You can see my butt," he mumbled.

Dr. Falton chuckled quietly. "I can get you clean underwear after I've given you the look-over. Besides, I'm a doctor, I know what the anatomy looks like."

"I want this thing off, I want underpants, and I want a real shirt," demanded the young patient listlessly.

"You're feeling better then?" The teenager considered, then nodded. "Alright, let's get you to the office."

Dr. Falton brought out a tissue to wipe away the mess covering Jak's mouth. Once the young man was cleaned, the doctor helped him stand up. While shaky, the teenager was able to stand and carefully - with Dr. Falton's left arm supporting his back - took his steps out of the medical cell. It was during this journey that Jak realised why he had found this setting so strange at first: it was dark. Through the windows, he could clearly see night time. The cell he was in had a soft violet light. The doctor's office they were heading towards had an orange desk light to calmly illuminate the surroundings. In his quiet voice, the teenager asked if anyone else was in the bay, to which he got the answer that he was the only patient that night. As they neared the office, he realised something else: wouldn't Dr. Falton get into trouble helping Jak move around without restraints of some sort? He voiced this concern and the doctor chuckled lightly: there was no one else in the medical bay to care.

Once in the office, he was led to the examination bed, which had been shifted so that the back was raised, allowing Jak to sit up with little effort. Once sitting back on the bed, the doctor covered him with a blanket and adjusted the bed's side table so that it hovered over Jak's waist. There he placed a small bowl of nuts and dried fruit, as well as a mug of fruit tea he had prepared earlier, so that Jak could drink something lukewarm as opposed to boiling hot. He positioned Jak's hands around the mug, making sure he could grip it and drink on his own. Jak found it difficult to swallow initially, but after the first few swallows, he continued drinking the soothing liquid. Dr. Falton left him alone briefly to empty the bin in the cell and to replace it with a clean one. Jak could hear him moving around and spraying the area with antiseptic. He was attempting to chew and swallow the nuts when the doctor came back.

The young patient had no idea how to react when he was told that he had been kept unconscious and in another building for nearly 2 weeks. The doctor repositioned his computer monitor and showed the patient the reports written from his time spent in treatment. Parts of his damaged epidermis had had to be completely removed with new skin being grafted on. Another treatment was to simply inject his skin with extra cellulite to encourage and speed up the growth of natural skin on his body. The sites where the Dark Eco had been tasered into him had suffered muscle damage, so the various muscle fibers had needed repairing. Jak started when he was shown the photos taken of his unconscious form during the treatment. He demanded to know why he had been completely naked and why photos were taken at all. The doctor calmly explained that photos were normally taken during procedures so that there was evidence treatment had been carried out correctly. As for why Jak was naked, so much of his skin had been damaged there was little point covering him, especially considering the decision made to keep him unconscious, as the doctors in that specialist ward of the hospital had been informed Jak was a dangerous prisoner. The patient stared at the photos of his unconscious self: needles and tubes sticking into him, random bandage patches covering parts of his body, while his usual bandages covering the wrists/hands and ankles/feet had been removed. Then there was the cause of the lingering foul taste in his mouth (which had mostly disappeared thanks to the tea), the breathing tube placed in his mouth and held down by tape. Dr. Falton explained he had been provided oxygen and anaesthetic through that tube. His unconscious self looked deceptively peaceful.

"Jak? Do you remember what had been done to you to cause such harm?" the doctor asked sincerely, curiosity and concern in his voice.

"Yes." Jak kept his face expressionless and refused to elaborate. He had no desire to dwell on the torture that Baron Praxis had put him through as punishment for that escape attempt...and murder of one of the Krimzon Guards.

Dr. Falton sighed and switched off the monitor. He removed the now empty mug and bowl of remaining nuts and dried fruit, then cleared the table out of the way and coaxed Jak to sit up a little so that his hospital gown could be unfastened. He explained to his young patient he wanted to remove the bandages and check the progress of his healing skin. The gown was pulled down, placing the arms out of the sleeves, then lain across the blanket covering his lap. He then proceeded with the long task of removing the sets of bandages from the arms and torso, inspecting the results underneath. At certain points he would massage the muscles there, at other points he would rub a lotion, sometimes he would rub a lotion of some sort before placing a fresh bandage over the area. While doing this, he answered Jak's questions about Haven City; he explained that many were afraid of defying Baron Praxis because it would mean losing their comfortable jobs, comfortable lives of much entertainment, and ending up in the slums. When asking about what kind of entertainment, Jak perked up slightly at the mention of racing. Dr. Falton had to clarify that many races resulted in at least one death. Jak then asked who did defy the baron, the doctor explained there was an 'underground' but he knew little about them. After the hospital gown was fastened around Jak again, the blanket was pushed high up the legs, so he could inspect the legs as he had the upper body. While doing this, he talked about his family: his wife, his teenage daughter that aspired to be a doctor, his son that wanted to be a mechanic.

Jak was finding it more difficult to fight the urge to sleep. I've been sleeping almost 2 weeks and still feel exhausted? The doctor noticed his weariness and helped him into a sitting position, removing the blanket before helping him stand. This time, his legs felt somewhat stronger, so he needed little help in taking steps and found himself actually walking back to the specialised cell. He asked Dr. Falton to let him lie on his front. The doctor was puzzled by his request at first, but then told him to lie in any comfortable position he chose, so Jak lay down on his front, with his arms curled surrounding his head. He suddenly felt embarrassed by this position as nothing covered his exposed derriere through the hospital gown's rear opening. The doctor promptly spread the blanket over his lain form and fastened the straps securing his waist and legs over the top. He then asked Jak to use his arms to raise and support his head and shoulders, then he took away the pillow and fished around in one of the drawers beneath the bed for a thinner pillow. The sleepy patient lay back down on this pillow gratefully, finding it easier to breathe on this pillow. He noticed some bars being raised around his head and his free wrists were wrapped in some sort of soft material. His eyes were already closed, so his drifting mind could only register that his wrists had been restrained somehow. He heard Dr. Falton wishing him a good night as he finally faded from consciousness.


In the present, Jak recalled that he had woken up several hours later to find it was early afternoon. The doctor who had then come into his cell was...

"Dr. Gravis," he greeted the young doctor in surprise.

The young Dr. Gravis, cheery as ever, accompanied Dr. Falton as they left the currently-occupied medical cell.

"Hello, Jak," the young doctor greeted. "Long time no see. Or should I be calling you Mar, now?"

Their king - and former patient - sneered in irritation. "No one ever calls me Mar, it's always 'King Mar', 'His Highness, Mar', 'Mar of Spargus' or 'Mar, Son of Damas'." He shook his head. "Just call me Jak."

Dr. Gravis couldn't resist chuckling as he responded. "Of course, your Highness." Dr. Falton seemed to be losing patience with him and Jak glared at him. "Can you really tell me you wouldn't have said the same thing in my position?"

Daxter would. In response, Jak gave a wry smirk. "I won't execute you this time, Dr. Gravis."

The young doctor laughed nervously. "That's...that's way too formal. Just call me Gan."

"And you can call me Lev, if you like," chimed in Dr. Falton. "We really should get going, to my office. I'll be back soon, Gan."

"But that's your office," said the former patient in confusion, pointing at the familiar office.

Lev glanced quickly behind him while he continued to exit the medical bay. "That? That's the general office used by all medical staff when reporting on their patients. Or even examining them." Jak followed him wordlessly as they walked along the corridor. "I got promoted soon after the Metal Heads were defeated...and when you saved the world from the Dark Makers. I'm now the Chief Medical Officer for this entire prison, so it's also my duty to inspect and monitor the activities in the medical bay in the women's wing. It also means I get my own office and I have access to my own small library. The books in there I loan out to others of course."

"Well, congratulations...Lev."

The Chief Medical Officer laughed joyfully. "You know, during the time you spent here, you never called me anything. I became convinced you never addressed people by their names."

"Not true, you were just the only one around a lot of the time."

This got the doctor thinking. "Yes...that's right. Hm, never thought of that."

They spent the next few minutes walking quietly along until they reached a locked door. Lev held up his key-card for scanning, then the door opened. Inside was a spacious office. There were shelves of books covering one wall, while a large window dominated and provided a lot of natural illumination for the room. Part of another wall was devoted to filing cabinets and lockers, devoted to a lot of files and records. Below the large window was a desk, with a computer as always, but next to it were 2 framed photos of Lev's family, as well as a stack of books on Eco and its effects on physiology. At the top of it was a file, which the doctor picked up before indicating Jak could sit on the sofa. The desk had its own chair, while a corner had a stack of chairs in case more than one person dropped by.

Dr. Falton sat down on the sofa next to his former patient and handed him the file. "This has a copy of every single medical report written of you during your stay here."

Jak stared at it blankly. "That's what you wanted to see me about?"

The doctor grinned. "Not only." The city's ruler grabbed the file but simply laid it on his lap without looking at it. "I had my regular review with the city's Medical Union a few months ago. One of the things pointed out to me was that...well, as you know, the union is carrying out all possible efforts to restore the status quo of every citizen having their own family doctor. This must have been brought up at the Council Meetings?" The only look the medical officer received was blank confusion; Jak could not recall this topic ever having been raised. "OK, so, out of all the doctors in this city, I've had contact with you the most. I know the most about your physiology and health. If you like, I could be assigned as your doctor."

The younger man considered this. "And that means what? I call you if I'm ever too sick to leave my bed?"

"For starters. It also means I'll check you regularly, inspect your teeth like Gan did and...take care of your sexual health." Jak's eyes widened at this, earning him a condescending look from the doctor opposite. "You do realise the parts used in making babies are very sensitive? Not taking good care of them means problems for you and your partner. That'll be Keira, I assume?"

The younger man nodded. "I never realised..." He stared down at the turquoise folder he held. "I'll need to think about it for a while." He opened up the folder and smiled slightly at the sight in front of him. "The first time you examined me, this was what you kept filling in?"

"That's the form," Lev confirmed warmly.

Jak flicked through the pages, seeing what else he could find. The next several pages were every single physical report written by the medical students that examined him after he had been injected with Eco. There were also a few pages devoted to the treatment of his injury after his first escape attempt. He paused in his flicking at the sight of the photos taken when his skin needed repairing and replacing. He resumed his flicking and grinned at the page showing a diagram of his teeth. He recalled Dr. Gravis - Gan - inspecting his teeth while chattering away about why he cared about people's dental health so much, as many of his relatives are prone to bad teeth and go to extra efforts to maintain their condition.

"So this is my copy?" he checked. "Why did you collect all this? Print this all out?"

"My own curiosity, partly; I also needed these notes for research." Dr. Falton shrugged, glancing at the books stacked on his desk. "I needed to know as much as possible about Eco's effects on the body if I were to be your doctor. Preparation for this meeting basically. I heard you're visiting one of those, uh, visiting practitioners?"

Jak ruefully grinned. "It's not exactly something I'm keeping a secret." He sighed. "They'll be happy to see these."

... "Why do I hear a 'but'?"

The king nodded dejectedly. "But the apprentice really wants to see my prison records. She wants to make a timeline of events or something."

"In order to have copies made of your incarceration records, you just need to visit the prison archives. And no, I haven't seen them, I'm not authorised." Lev looked decidedly uncomfortable as he considered his next words. "If you do choose to have me as your doctor, the first thing I would ask for would be those records."

Jak seemed to inspect the doctor as he considered his decision. "I'd like you to be my doctor actually," he revealed with a childish smile, "just...if it's okay with you, could we have our first appointment after I..?" He pointed towards his head.

Lev shrugged. "You know how to reach me when you're ready."


Jak entered the library slowly. Being outside of the secure area, he was now badge-less. The area was very quiet, with numerous shelves, of both books, files and servers, as well as a few desks for the visitors. There was one librarian working at the counter, reading through some files. As Jak walked towards her, he noticed that a portrait of him hung on one wall. The portrait was an enlarged photo, taken when Jak had stayed behind and bid farewell to the departing Precursors; it was a simple photo showing him with his hands on his hips, looking up with a contented smile. He had to admit, he rather liked the photo.

The librarian looked up as he got closer. She had a rather young complexion, but judging by her outward maturity she was likely much older. She was taken by surprise at first, before greeting him politely. "Good afternoon, your Highness."

"Hello." Jak felt he would never be comfortable with formality. "I, uh, came to pick up a copy of the records from my time here." It was pretty well known throughout the city that he had been incarcerated by Baron Praxis for nearly two years.

"I'm so sorry, your Highness. Our system is being reprogrammed so that we can search for files by name, but progress is slow-going. All records were listed under prisoner number during the last regime. Do you still remember yours?"

The king forced himself to loosen his jaw. "DW104."

The librarian promptly typed it in. She nodded. "Found. Would you like a copy of every contained document?" He answered in the affirmative and watched as the first few sheets were printed off. Something then caught his eye.

He snatched one of the sheets from the nearby printer. This was the initial document filled in on his arrival. What he stared at was the photo taken at the time.

"I don't remember a camera," he said aloud.

"The jailor registrar always uses a computer with a camera attachment, that way he or she can take the photo of the new inmate during standard questioning. A photo is always needed for visual reference," the librarian calmly explained.

Jak found himself entranced with the photo. Photos were not too common in Sandover Village, 300 years ago, so he had only vague recollections of what he had looked like at the time. The younger Jak in the photo was very expressive, his fear and worry very evident. His tuft of hair spiking upward, as well as the ill-fitting inmates' uniform (height had not been the issue, he was simply very skinny at the time) made the boy in the picture look very small. He had numerous reactions to this photo, but he could not properly place them. Unlike in the photo, this clash of emotional reactions was not evident and his face was a controlled mask, making any onlooker believe he was merely concentrating.

"Is it possible to print off just this photo?"

The librarian stopped her preparation of an empty red folder. "Of course. Would you like it enlarged or kept the same size?"

"Same size is fine."

Once he was given the folder, containing copies of all the reports, he thanked the librarian and left. He kept the reports under his arm and refused to look at them until he was home again. He was uncertain whether he was anxious to read through them or he dreaded the task and wished to wait until Yerran and Pern had read through them. But then, he felt he could not wait for them to read through those records. As soon as he arrived back at the flat he and Keira shared, finding it empty, he went straight to the couch in the living room and lay the two folders on the coffee table. He then spent the next few minutes staring at them.


He could not place what he was feeling. Dread most certainly.


From different perspectives, the two sets of records had details of a painful chapter in his life, which he was now trying to address and confront, yet...

After a possible eternity, curiosity compelled him to open the red folder, but not to read the files inside; he took out the photo that he had slipped inside, staring at the image captured of his younger self. He found himself staring at the photo for another eternity, aware of a creeping swelling of melancholy collecting deep in his conscience; this feeling, he felt, was distant regret. This boy, who resembled him, could have been someone else entirely; he was so expressive, visibly anxious. What Jak regretted, was his advanced ability at hiding his real emotions. Most people only saw his expressionless mask, or his anger, or his arrogance; it was only around his close friends that he would express true joy, it was also only Daxter and Keira that saw his vulnerable side. However, he was no longer comfortable showing his vulnerability, not since his time in the prison. In Daxter's case, being around him all the time meant that witnessing his vulnerability was inevitable. As for Keira, he had found himself completely exposed the first time they had made love, but he had realised that during the act they had both been able to read each other so clearly: they had experienced each others' nervousness, their bashfulness, their excitement, surprise, desperation for the others' warmth, understanding. But then, he had felt himself too insecure to properly share his secrets with her, no matter how many she had shared with him.

What will she think of this?

This regret was not the only reason for the collection of morose feelings deep within, but he was unable to name the others. Lamentably, he placed the photo back onto the coffee table.

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Written by Ruth Hüneke 2013

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