Title: You Have a Visitor
Stella was not broken. But there were times she thought she might be cracking, like right now. There was a prison guard speaking to her. He did not speak English, but she knew his language well enough to understand you have a visitor. She rose out of her corner, over the envious eyes of other women, and followed the guard down the corridor. The stone floor was sticky against her bare feet.
She had never had a visitor before. It seemed unimaginable, after all this time. Either it's a mistake, or she is finally cracking. Dare she hope otherwise? She tried to hope. She tried to be brave enough to hope. It was hard to identify bravery anymore without Miles.
The guard stopped outside the visitor's room and allowed Stella to walk herself in. Hard light from the ceiling substituted the lack of natural light. It spotlighted the white man, who watched her as she crossed the room. Before she reached the table, questions were jumping out of her mouth. "Are you from the American embassy? Can you get me out of here?"
As she dropped in her seat, the man rose from his. He rounded the table fast and put his arms on her. It was only after a few stiff moments encased in his dry warm arms that she realized... this wasn't an aggressive touch. This was a hug.
"Yeah, mom," the man answered, and pulled back to reveal tears. "You're free."