“Tess, please don’t. I’m already in enough trouble. If Miss Antonina catches us talking, I can’t even imagine what she’ll think up to punish us.” With that, she started toward the bathroom, hoping Tess wouldn’t try to stop her. She almost made it too, but a soft sob escaping from Tess’s throat stopped her at the door. Normally, she would have continued on, reminding herself that her distance from others was for her own good. That didn’t happen this time. That tiny noise exploded in her gut like a powerful punch. In that moment, her resolve was as fragile as fine china and before she realized what she was doing, she felt herself moving toward Tess in the darkness.
She stood beside the bed and stared down at Tess’s form as it quivered from her attempts to cry softly. It reminded Tobi of Vawndila and she was overcome with the need to comfort her. She lowered herself to the floor and tentatively raised her hand to stroke Tess’s hair. She began to feel her emotions welling up inside her. All the loneliness and stress threatened to rush the walls that she had worked so hard to build. All she felt now was a burning desire to throw off the chains of self-control that had kept her alive in this hellish world. A war was being waged, a war between the need to run at all costs and the need to be close to another human being.
“Tess, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to… tell me, tell me what you saw. I’m here, I’m listening.”
To be continued…