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His world, so vastly different from the one I had grown up in. The carefully woven net of protection my parents had spun around me. The net that could not keep me safe, forever.

The world outside was cold, unfeeling, drab and harsh. Nobody gave a damn about anyone else – especially not anyone else’s feelings. Because they did not have any.

But still my parents remained unmoved in their care of everyone. Strong and powerful of heart, and I admired them for that.

I was not as strong as them, even though I thought naively that I was. I could see how easily it was to fall, as simple people do, if in all my training, could do so also. My strong sense of self being whittled away bit by bit, as each new force broke me a little more.