LXXVII

It wasn’t so much the words with which he spoke, but the feeling behind them.

Although broken and sorrowful she heard something else. She could tell he was kind, compassionate and fair.

He was a good man, she could feel it and when he spoke, he meant it.

There was an authenticity in his voice, and although initially quite clinical and reserved, wary of giving too much away to a stranger, after a time there was a vulnerability made accessible through trust.

In an unguarded moment his heart would open, a warmth and tenderness filling his often unattainable demeanour.

She didn’t warm to him immediately, it took time. She imagined for him also.

After a time a bond formed, an undeniable knowing as if the two had met before.

Their meeting had sparked a curiosity.

Whilst away from the prison, Inana would do her due diligence, delving into past lives to see why their paths may have crossed in this incarnation.

She could access two.

In the first lifetime they shared, he wore a waistcoat covering a checked shirt, sleeves rolled up, a trilby atop his head and he held a pipe in his hand.

He watched her lovingly and dutifully as she doted on their three children.

He laughed, looked at her and said, “I don’t know why I’m even here! You spend all your time with those children”.

She admired him but was distant, not fully open to his love.

He adored her and would do anything for her and although perplexed by her guarded heart, loved her unconditionally.

The second past life she saw was in America.

They were brother and sister. Inana around 12 or 13, he 18 or 19.

He would carry her around on his back, she talking incessantly, with enthusiasm and vigour, her imagination wild and unruly, he patiently listened, responding when he needed too, teaching her when he could.

There was no mother or father present, just the two of them, running from something. He, always on edge, hyper-vigilant and over-protective; she innocent, trusting and carefree. He loved her free spirit but her niavety intrigued him and worried him equally.

It seemed her love knew no bounds, her faith in human nature and her belief that everyone was good and kind made her an easy target.

At night, when they lay sleeping by the fire, he would keep watch, the slightest noise commanding a swift response.