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My stomach no longer gnawed at my insides and knives ceased the constant raking at the back of my eyeballs. My body had gone numb and the pain of dying was nonexistent. Unfortunately, I knew what that meant. I was breaths away from meeting death. Laying curled up against the cold wall of an abandoned building, rapped in rags and dirt, I accepted my demise. All I had to do was close my eyes and I’d slip into a painless blissful sleep. No one would even notice. I had no family left to mourn my death and the people of France raced down the cobblestone streets, too consumed in their own hardships to glance down. Closing my eyes, I pulled my sharp knees to my chest and let my lungs empty themselves and turn the air in front of me into steam.
With a pang in my hear, I let go. I imagined my soul slowly detaching itself from my body and floating away, taking with it all I am. I could almost feel-
“May I ask what your story is, miss?” My body snatched my soul back in that instant. I couldn’t tell if the voice that had just spoken had spoken to me, but the voice didn’t talk with a french lick. The words dragged with a British accent.
Weak and feeble, It took much effort to lift my neck and rest my head against the unforgivingly frigid wall behind me and pry open my eyes. A well kept man that looked about in his late twenties, was crouched next to me. He looked at me with such compassion that I almost believed it was unfeigned. His green eyes were glowing in the darkness of the night and his wide smile was warm and comforting.
I could only manage to grunt in response which was rewarded with a light chuckle from the man.
“How bout your name?” He asked. “Can you tell me that?” His accent sounded terribly foreign and out of place just as much as his kindness.
I opened my mouth once again only to squeak a reply. But I was stubborn and I tried again. “I-I” I stammered finally. It was painful to speak. “Do-on’ ha-ave on-ne.” The man’s eyes widened at either my answer or at how pitiful I was.
“You don’t have one? Well, would you like me to give you one?” What was this man’s purpose and why was he being so kind to me? Even though I was skeptical, I nodded because it would be such a luxury to have a name even if I was to die soon.
His smile widened even more. “Alright-y, then. Hm. How bout the name, Story, as a reminder that you must tell me yours someday.” Story, I repeated in my head. I loved its originality. Smiling faintly, I nodded again just as it almost became impossible to keep my eyes open.
“Good, then,” the man nodded with me. My heart jumped as I felt arms snake underneath me and lift me up. The kind man had taken me in his arms, hoisted me up, then began walking down the street, his shoes clicking on stone.
“Ungh,” I groaned in alarm.
“Don’t you worry, Story,” the man reassured me. “I’m a doctor and I’m going to fix you right up now. Try not to fall asleep if you will, please. But if you can’t help it, it will be alright.” He looked down at me as I had given up keeping my eyes open. “I’ll save you anyhow.”