The cold moonlight shone through the bars, casting shadows on the floor. It was the only light I’d have until morning, although it was only late afternoon. The nights are darker every week and soon there might not be any light at all. Not real light, anyway. People believe they can make it on their own, but it’s fake. No one can make real light. I’ve lived a long time; I know what the world is like. No one is worthy enough, good enough to create something like that. We all stumble. We all fall. We all fail.
I squirmed, trying to get comfortable on the concrete floor. Not that I deserved it, but I was willing to try almost anything to make the waiting for the end easier. Tears didn’t help; I’d already tried that. It only made it lonelier. And loneliness led to remembering. And I never wanted to explore those memories again.
The harsh sound of metal broke the silence. I hadn’t heard any noise except the rustling of my own movements in so long, it hurt my ears. If the idea wasn’t so ludicrous, I’d have thought it was a key locking a keyhole.
Or unlocking one.
The door creaked opened, first time it’s been opened in a long, long time. A work-roughened hand was the first thing I saw and a face quickly followed; a young fellow I’ve never seen before, but I knew who it was.
He said not a word, just handed me the key that held half my freedom and whispered, “Sorry.”
I hated being falsely accused but until this moment I hadn't realized that one could be unjustly forgiven as well.