Hello!!! Anyone there? Haha. Haven't been getting much (any) feedback on this, so I hope someone is still liking this! (Or... reading this.....) Anyway, enjoy!
Hours later, he wasn't sure how long it had been, Mereb awoke to a dark room and a sleeping Radames beside his bed. He stared at Radames for a moment, silently wondering why this Egyptian had been so nice to him.
Mereb didn't really know all that much about the conflict between Nubia and Egypt. All the ten-year-old knew was that Egyptians didn't like Nubians. They came into Nubia, uninvited, and took many Nubians away, like Mereb. Mereb couldn't think of any idea why the two countries couldn't just be friends. Wouldn't that be easier than fighting?
Radames was the first Egyptian who seemed like he really cared about Mereb. It confused the boy at first, but once the initial shock wore off, Mereb began to see Radames as a friend.
"Hey… Radames?" Mereb loudly whispered, waking Radames up. "Are you sleeping?"
"Not anymore," Radames grumbled. He rubbed at his hazel eyes to chase away the lingering feelings of sleep.
"G'morning," Mereb sheepishly greeted, even though it was the middle of the night.
"Mereb!" Radames leaned over to get a better look at the young Nubian. "You're looking a lot better."
"I feel it," Mereb truthfully answered. "I… I don't think I told you yesterday, but I… well, thank you," he hesitated, stumbling over his words. "F-for yesterday." Out of shame, Mereb's eyes became downcast, unable to make contact with Radames. "You're right. I'm nothing but a slave now. I'm sorry I ever thought anything different."
"No, Mereb," Radames refuted. "I'm the one who's sorry. I had no right to say those things to you. Your courage is really something to be admired."
"I'm not courageous," Mereb denied. "And you had every right. I was ungrateful."
"But you are!" persevered Radames. "Believe me." Mereb opened his mouth to protest, but Radames quickly put his hand up to stop him and dismissed the subject. "You said yesterday that you were all alone. Is that true?"
Mereb quietly nodded. "I just miss my family."
"I know I'm not anything like your family," Radames sighed. He put a firm hand on Mereb's shoulder. "But I promise, from now on, I'll be here to look out for you."
Mereb scoffed at what he thought was a hallow promise made out of pity. "What? You mean you'll be down in the mines, protecting me?"
"The mines…" Radames repeated, knowing full well about the mortality of an adult worker in the copper mines, much less an already-injured kid. "What if I said you wouldn't have to go back down into the mines?"
"Really?" Mereb beamed. "I'd-" Once he'd gained control of himself, Mereb spoke again. "Where would I be instead of the mines?" the Nubian asked timidly.
"Here, of course," Radames smiled. "You would be my personal servant. My father has been hounding me to get one, anyway. It's your choice. But Mereb, I promise, I'll be good to you."
Mereb dramatically paused, making it look like he was deep in thought. In all honesty, his mind had already been made up. "Okay. I accept." he agreed. "Anything to get out of the mines. I'll be your personal slave."
"Excellent," Radames responded. "Just so you know, I'll not think of you as a personal servant, but as a friend."
"Thank you, sir," Mereb replied. "I'll think of you as a friend, and not as a master." Mereb caught Radames off guard as he wrapped his arms around the teenager and pressed his head into Radames's chest. "I promise I won't let you down."
"I'm sure of it, Mereb," Radames warmly assured. "And I promise that I will always be here to take care of you."
That's the end of the story! I hope you enjoyed it! As always, I'd love a review. Thanks for reading!