He was swept free. He was brought out of deception. And he could see. With his eyes. With his heart. With all he could hold.
As he watched the wall come down and the shadow move and remembered his friend's, his victim's, words, "I forgive you," he wished, he hoped, he prayed and cried out and couldn't believe he got a reply. His burden, lifted and thrown, his darkness gone in the grip of a light that caught it and held it and brought it down.
He was free.
But he had ordered someone killed. He was not directly responsible, he reasoned, which gave him space between himself and the guilt. But he'd done it just the same. He'd watched a murder and had not intervened. In fact, he'd approved it.
In his life were many sins. He had abandoned someone who needed him. He had hurt someone who loved him. He regretted it. How could he be freed from that? But he was and he found it difficult to take. Not that he wasn't grateful. He was overwhelmed with gratitude, tears streaking his face, his heart, everything he could hold. He was paralyzed with it. He moved only by the force that held him up and led him. He was no longer his own.
He stood motionless in the center of his small town with the wall now down around them and the inhabitants strolling harmlessly around. They kept walking, not pausing, not stopping to say hello, everyone just going by with no destination other than "I can go here now" with no restriction. He began to stroll too, for hours or minutes he couldn't tell, and finally went home to tell his family they were free.
But they weren't. His family was still imprisoned by him. The wall was down. The shadow was gone. The weight had lifted. But his Closest remembered his cruelty. His Smallest remembered his absence. His Wisest knew. She just knew. He was free of his guilt, but they were still under it, pinned to the floor by unforgiveness and resentment and the truth. It was true. He had done it all.
So he set out to change the truth. He hoped. He promised. But he failed, horribly, spectacularly. He was a changed man, broken, serene, a man who had been unable to rescue himself and now he needed help to clean up the mess. He needed a rescuer. They needed a rescuer, to be saved from all he had done to them.