— Supongo que he tenido miedo de estar solo. — Y le vino un pensamiento de que durante toda su vida había perdido el tiempo hablando de lo que había hecho y de lo que iba hacer. Nunca había disfrutado de lo que pasaba en el momento. Durante la mayor parte de su vida, no había escuchado realmente a nadie ni a nada. El sonido del viento, de la lluvia, el sonido del agua que corre por los arroyos, había estado siempre ahí, pero en realidad nunca los había oído. Tampoco había oído a Julieta, cuando ella intentaba decirle como se sentía; especialmente cuando estaba triste. Julieta debía de haberse sentido muy sola hablando con un hombre envuelto en acero, tan sola como el se había sentido en esa lúgubre habitación. Su propio dolor y su soledad afloraron. Comenzó a sentir el dolor y la soledad de Julieta también.
Robert Fisher, El caballero de la armadura oxidada
Sur les pages imprimées, je ne retrouve pas la trace des jours où je les écrivis : ni la couleur des matins et des soirs ni les frémissements de la peur, de l’attente, rien.
Pourtant, tandis que je les arrachais laborieusement au néant, le temps se brisa, le sol bougea et je changeai.
“Hey!” An angry voice came from behind. “Leave her alone! She’s only little!” Two voices! “Give my sister her dolly back.“ Three! Peggy spun to see Alex, Thomas, and Eliza glaring hard at the two older boys. With them was John, Charles, and Angelica, all looking just as cross. They gathered around Peggy protectively, John pulling her back towards him, not breaking eye contact with George and Samuel. "What’s your deal, George?” Angelica’s voice was boiling with rage. “Leave my little sister alone.” “Your sister was throwing her dolly about and got her stuck between the railings,” Samuel shook his head in a pretend disappointed manner. “We couldn’t stand by and let her treat toys so carelessly!” “She’s a baby!” Angelica fumed. “Of course she plays a bit rough!” “And that’s my doll!” Thomas cut in, taking a step forward. “I let her play with it.” George gasped and looked at Peggy with malice. “Irresponsible and a liar!” Again, he began to tut. Peggy’s eyes filled with fresh tears at the frustration of it all; she hid her head behind Charles in shame. “She didn’t lie,” Alex finally stepped forward next to Thomas and folded his arms. “At our Daycare, we share our toys. What’s Thomas’ is everyone’s, until he takes it home. Weren’t you taught manners at your Daycare? Or are Big Kids too cool to be nice?" George opened his mouth to talk back, but Alex continued, "You’re too cool to be nice to a little kid? She’s two! Maybe she was a bit rough with Sally, but she’ll learn. Not like you! What are you, ten? And you’re holding her by the foot and swinging her round and round! You’re the irresponsible ones! You’re meanies, and you’re bullies, and you have to give us our dolly back.” “And if you don’t,” Eliza piped up, “My daddy will tell your daddy, and then you’ll be in huge trouble.” George and Samuel seemed taken aback by the younger kids’ speech. They looked through the railings for a couple of moments, before George shrugged and said “Whatever. We’re wasting our time. Come on, Sam.” George turned and Samuel shook his head at the Daycare kids, carelessly shoving Sally back up onto the railing. “Get her yourself.”
Once they were gone, Peggy looked fearfully up at Thomas.“M'sorry Thomas, I- I was just playing and you and Alex were still mad and I wanted you to be friends, so-” “It’s alright,” Thomas smiled one of his rare nice smiles and ruffled Peggy’s hair. “You’re okay, and Sally’s okay. We just need to get her down.” “Lafayette’s the tallest,” Charles pointed out, moving his arm from in front of Peggy so that it rested on her shoulder. “Maybe he can reach it.” But when they called Lafayette over, it was immediately clear that he was still much too short to reach Sally on his own. “Somebody needs to get on my shoulders,” He decided. “Perhaps then we can reach.” “Sally is my doll,” Thomas asserted himself. “I’ll do it.” Alex rolled his eyes, but Lafayette nodded and bent for Thomas to clamber up. Once he was positioned, the two wobbled closer to the railings and Thomas reached up; but Sally was still a little too far. “Damn it!” “Thomas!” Angelica put her hands over Peggy’s ears as Eliza pulled her away from John and Charles. “That’s a naughty word!” “Whatever.” Thomas was staring at Sally. “We still need one more person.” “Me! Me!” Peggy pushed away from her sisters. “I got stuck, I want to help!” “No, Peggy. It’s much too dangerous.” John shook his head before anybody else could agree. “If you slip you’ll hurt yourself very bad. One of us has to do it.” Peggy was a little put out by this, and clung to Eliza’s arm in disappointment. While everybody was thinking, she had another idea. “Alex should do it!” “What?!” Lafayette couldn’t help but giggle. “Peggy, Alexander is the shortest one here next to you!” “It will be enough to get Sally, and Thomas and Alex need to make up or else they will be in time out again when recess ends.” Peggy argued excitedly. “And who says I’m too short!” protested an offended Alex, not waiting for either of the other boys to be ready and scrambling up anyway. The other kids laughed. “Alex!” Thomas grumbled as the smaller boy grabbed his curls to haul himself up. Eventually, Alex was perched on top of Thomas’ shoulders and the three boys managed to get their balance. Lafayette neared the railings again, and Alex carefully reached out to grab Sally-
“What are you guys doing?” Mr Washington’s voice came from behind them, and everybody turned to see him walking over with Aaron, Hercules and James in tow. He didn’t seem mad, but he didn’t look too happy either. All at once, everybody gathered around the Laf-Thomas-Alex tower clamoured excuses, before Mr Washington shushed them. “One at a time. What happened?” “Peggy was playing with Sally and got her stuck up on the railings!” John burst out. “Then King George and Samuel from the middle school came and stole her away!” Angelica put in. “They were mean and made Peggy cry-” Charles added furiously. “But we made them go away, but we couldn’t reach Sally ‘cause they threw her back up,” Alex recounted. “So now we are a tower!” Lafayette finished. Mr Washington stared at the group for a few moments, but thankfully broke into laughter. “You kids… Will be the death of me someday! Well done everybody for working together, but building towers with people is very dangerous.” He glanced at Lafayette, Thomas, and Alex in amusement. “You should have come straight to me, or Mrs Washington, so we could get Sally down safely.” He reached over and picked up Sally, handing her to Thomas once the trio disbanded their tower. “Thank you, Mr Washington.” Thomas held Sally gently for once, and the other kids chorused their thanks around him. “That’s quite alright. Now, come along inside. Recess is over. We’re going to do some quiet reading until lunch as it looks like you have all had enough excitement for the morning!” Everybody except Aaron and Alex groaned, while they whooped and ran inside together. Everybody followed, and Thomas hung back with Peggy. He handed Sally to her, quietly saying “I know it wasn’t your fault. You just wanted me and Alex to be friends, didn’t you?” Peggy nodded. “And you tried very hard to get Sally back, and so I can see how much you care about her, and me, and even Alex. So I want you to look after Sally for the rest of the day. I know she’s mine, even if we do all share her at Daycare. But would you like to share her with me even when we’re not in Daycare?” Peggy lit up. “Really?” “Yeah, you can take her home over the weekends if you like. As long as you look after her very carefully.” Peggy was taken aback at Thomas’ suddenly kind nature; she knew he was always nice to her, but he had never been this gentle before. She looked at him suspiciously, using her spy skills to detect any deceit. But all she could see was true kindness in his eyes- he seemed to be very happy that Peggy cared so much. Lost for words, Peggy just nodded again. Thomas grinned. “Cool.” He said shortly, ruffling Peggy’s hair again and returning to his usually too-cool-to-care demeanour. He turned and walked inside with Peggy following; Mr Washington stood at the door with a small smile. “Thomas,” He called. “Let Alex know you’re both out of time out today. I’m very pleased with how you worked together.” “Sure!” Thomas called back, turning into the classroom. Peggy smiled. Mission complete.