I was living underground in a dark well. It was dark and cold down there. I was starving. I tried to remember the last time I ate, but it escaped me. I learned to ignore the sounds of my stomach rumbling. There was no point in imagining food. There hadn’t been any in seven years. I couldn’t figure out how I was still alive.

I spent my days staring into the darkness of the well walls. If I stared long enough shapes would form out of them. I focused and unfocused my eyes. I saw squares and circles and triangles. They were everywhere.

One thought stayed with me. I would never leave this place. It was home. I tried to recall how I got here, but my mind was blank. So I just stared.


One day, I took a chance and instead of looking straight ahead, I turned my glance upward. Then I saw it. It was a sharp prism of light emanating from outside of the well. All at once I heard a thump! There it was: a rope clinging to the side of the dark well wall.

Was it real?
Should I touch it?

My hands quivered in fear. I was shaking from lack of sleep and nourishment.

But I took a chance. I reached out my hand and I grabbed that rope with my remaining strength; strength that I didn’t even realize I had. I clung to the rope and pulled myself upward with all my might. I was exhausted.

I didn’t know if I would ever reach that stream of light. But I would die trying.

I pulled and pulled. Sweat streamed down my face and skeletal body.

All at once, I reached the apex. The prism of light expanded and encompassed my whole body. I fell to the ground gasping for breath. I looked over and saw it. There it was, your hand.

It was you.
You gave me that rope.
You believed in me.
You allowed me to save myself.

I took your hand as tears streamed down my face and two words escaped my lips:

“Thank you.”