Both men entered the room, Jack with a tray and John with a book. The stranger observed them entering, slightly squinting. He was obviously afraid but did not speak. His look spoke for himself. Jack asked the stranger if he wished to go to the bathroom, he answered an hesitating "no", tightening his arm toward the tray.
" Let us know when you do. " Jack told him. The stranger looked at the bowl, firmly gripping it like his only friend while John walked forward to stretch him out the book which he held.
" I brought you something to read. "
" Dostoïevski? Well thanks " he said holding a groan at the bottom of his throat. He stared at his bowl while both men went out. He stamped with anxiety. And this anxiety was only growing when he heard their conversation, discussing what they had to do with him. In a mood of despair, he launched: " How about you let me go?" But to go where? To whom? Why? This he ignored…
Sometimes later, his torturers let him go in the bathroom. He ended to wash his hands when M.Eko arrived. He felt his heart squeezing up. The more this place was filled with people, the more he was afraid of what could happen to him. He did not dare to ask a questions as Jack silenced him.
" How many of-- "
" Shh, shut. Up. " The unknown stared at him then tried to listen to the other side of the door. When M.Eko left the hatch, they put him back in the armoury. The unknown observed them and asked of a little trembling voice :
" When will you agree to let me leave? I'd like you to let me go..."
" We still have some questions to be answered so, as long as we don't know who you are. "
" I don't know it myself..." he said in a rustle watching the ground. Jack frowned and closed the door.
M.Eko returned with Jack in the hatch, avid to confide himself. John let him in while Jack recommended him to be wary of this " smart and curious " stranger. The small man sat, seeing the men behind the door. He put the book on the mattress and felt his whole body shivering with fear. The tall man presented his hand.
" I' m Mister Eko. " He took the hand and squeezed it.
" I am confused, I don't have any name to give you … " Mister Eko frowned.
" Do you mind if I sit ? "
" OK " he answered.
" How long have you been here ? "
" I I do not know... I'm not sure... "
" Are they treating you well ? "
" Treating me well ? I'm, a prisoner, and I don't know why or for what-- "
" You're a prisoner, because they are being careful. They are careful because they are believing you're lying. "
" Why would I lie ? " He asked unbelieving. "They think I'm one of these others, other what-- "
" Please, stop talking. " The unknown felt his blood freezing while M.Eko confided him his murders, he was certain of it at the moment: he would be the next one. But then, M.Eko also confided him that he was on the way of the redemption. But this light relief did not seem to relax him that much.
" I ask you for your forgiveness. "
" Why are you telling me that ? " He asked in a shy smile.
" Because I needed to tell someone. " He took out his knife. The unknown who had found hope, saw the world collapsing on his feet in the reflection of this blade. He jumped and opened wide eyes, M.Eko cut his beard and left both ends on the ground. The stranger watched the knife, until the very last second to be sure that the tall man would not jump on him.
At the end of the day, John came back bringing to the unknown something for his dinner. The little man sat up immediately, making sure that it was not a new aggressor. John observed him as he entered then walked to him. He gave him the bowl. The unknown ventured on a flash of humour hoping to gain the sympathy of one of his torturers.
"No. cheeseburgers uh?"
"No cheeseburgers." In so doing, he hid his look from John's. " Bon appétit."
" Is that true what you said about Hemingway ?" He asked, trying to keep John, not to feel alone again.
" You have good ears." The small man shrugged and smiled.
" You have thin doors." John turned to him. The unknown seemed more confident.
" You read Hemingway ? "
"Sure … Some books as far as I can remember… This I can't get through five pages uh......" he said looking at the book.
" Mmh. Dostoïevski had his virtues too. He was a genius for one. Bull fight isn't everything " The unknown laughed. Was he really speaking literature while he was locked without knowing anything of the others nor him ?
"So which one are you?" He asked.
"Wha, I' m sorry? " John asked perplex.
" Are you the genius or are you the guy who always feels as he's living in the shadow of the genius ? " John didn't know how to anwser. He murmured some words then took the empty bowl and went to the exit.
"I don't understand why you let the other man decide while I need help …"
" I don't let him decide. Jack and I make decisions together." John firmly said.
"Right OK .." he said hesitating then returning to his bowl "my mistake."
John looked at him severely while the unknown had just let escaped his chance for any help. John did not answer and stood out; their he broke the dishes, controlled by a blind rage. The stranger froze. A new wave of uncertainty submerged him. He was an intelligent man indeed, but alone against all and himself, an ally was necessary.