Who are You?
When I woke up again I wasn’t feeling cold anymore. Actually, I felt so comfortable I wanted to go back to sleep right away. Fortunately, I soon came out to my senses and could finally recall what happened on that day.
I was still alive. This realization came to me with a strange mixture of feelings; there were some disappointment and fear that was actually merged with some joy and relief I couldn’t deny. But above all, I felt thoroughly perplexed.
Why was I still breathing? Was there still something waiting for me in this world, something I needed to live for? Why would I be given another chance? Does it even have any sense? Does my life even has any sense?
The answer was clear to me, but I was still a human being. I couldn’t help that small seed of hope that I thought had already withered, from remerging again and slowing developing while sucking off all of my reason.
Then I was gradually aware of my surroundings and started wondering where I might be. Actually, I still could make a guess. Since I was lying in a small and comfy bed and the air around me was quiet and warm, I was either taken in in some house or carried over to a nearby inn. Though I wouldn’t know why someone would bother with a filthy cripple that wasn’t worthy with the smallest concern. How would I be able to return the favor? What did they really want from me?
It wasn’t until I thought to this point that I finally came to realize a significant fact that I actually neglected from the start. Who was that person?
At first, I have believed that someone who needed me wouldn’t possibly be better off than me. However, noticing that he actually had some means made me rethink all of my reasoning. Thus my mind kept going around in circles. I was unable to make any conjecture and couldn’t help feeling helpless.
However, I couldn’t help the fear that suddenly emerged from deep inside my heart. That’s right, I was helpless and utterly powerless. I was completely at the mercy of this stranger. At the same time, I knew I couldn’t lose myself this wild and useless feeling. If I still wanted to survive, I would need to be clear-headed and in full possession of my means, however small they were.
Once I finally managed to gather some courage, I seated myself correctly on the bed, faced forward and inquired: “Is there anybody here?”
That’s right, the room was completely silent from the beginning. Actually, I wasn’t able to make out the smallest sound that would betray the presence of any human being. But I still wanted to make sure of it before going any further.
In such a situation, it was best to run away without looking back before the person’s return, though where would I go. Since I wouldn’t be able to live outside in the cold anyway, I decided it would be better to try my luck here first. It couldn’t be any worse.
Moreover, I actually hadn’t felt any ill will from the man. I could still remember that strangely soothing warmth I felt back then. It was so much comfortable I completely let down my guard and peacefully surrendered to a deep slumber. Thinking of this, I didn’t feel dreadful anymore and started relaxing a little.
“You’re awake.” It was more of an affirmation than a question. Even if it was said in a rather calm and neutral voice, since it caught me off guard, I was so much startled I directly fell off the bed while sounding a feeble cry.
Before I could even straighten up I was once again enveloped in that familiar embrace and lifted back to the bed. He then covered up my body with the thick blackest and finally retrieved his hands. I heard some light footsteps retreating to a certain corner of the room before stopping and he sat up as I heard the sound of some wooden chair creaking. And the room quietened down once more.
I didn’t know how but I actually felt his persistent gaze on me. Recalling that he had been in the room the whole time made me feel rather embarrassed. Then, recalling what he said, I couldn’t help wondering how long he had stayed like that. I asked: “How much did I sleep?”
My voice sounded so hoarse, I unconsciously went to rub my throat. It wouldn’t be any wonder that I caught some illness after lying down in the snow for so long. But what was most surprising was the fact I didn’t feel sick at all. Actually, I felt too good it was somewhat absurd. How could it be possible to recover this well in such a short time?
Before I could drown deeper in this unending pit of thoughts, I got pulled out to reality by his next sentence which gave me a great scare: “Two weeks.”
Two weeks, I was unconscious for two weeks? After that, I was submerged with an infinite flow of questions. I couldn’t directly respond and still needed to sort out my thoughts. He kindly waited until I was able to stutter out some more words: “A-and you… here… with me…”
Ultimately, I wasn’t able to come out with a full sentence. Thinking that he should have taken care of me for so long made me feel even more speechless. Why? I also felt the debt I owed this guy deepen, which made me wonder if I really was able to pay it off or if it would weigh on my conscience until the end.
Before losing myself once more in thoughts, I recalled what I initially wanted to know and clenched my fists tightly and finally asked: “Who are you?”
The man didn’t speak for a long time. While I kept waiting for his answer, I began feeling more and more anxious until sensing that fear slowly regaining my mind. My nerves were stretched taut out of stress. The tension was such I even forgot to breathe, but what he said next made me instantly deflate like a balloon.