Chapter 16 - Hope

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The time was exactly 2pm when Muriel silently made her way to Ruth's room. As usual, she pushed a trailer with covered food on it. She pressed her lips together and kept her eyes down in her hopeless attempt to keep calm.

When she agreed to help Ruth, she didn't imagine that she would be as nervous as she was. She came across two men and swallowed hard. With her hand, she wiped the sweat off her forehead. Luckily, Muriel's timid self was nothing new - it was basically the norm there to see her all afraid and uneasy.

Naturally, everyone she came across ignored her like she didn't exist. Even though she was invisible to them, she couldn't help but fear that someone had caught onto what she was up to. Muriel shuddered at the thought of the consequences her actions were going to bring. She thought about Ruth and a faint smile lingered its way to her plump lips. It widened and revealed yellowish teeth.

In as much as helping Ruth escape brought great fear to the depths of her soul, it also brought a feeling she wasn't quite used to - excitement. Her adrenaline was rushing and she gripped the trailer handle tighter. The thrill of it all made her feel so alive but yet already dead at the same time. Muriel didn't care much about the strangeness of it. She was helping Ruth and that's all that mattered.

Ruth was the second friend she ever had. She was kind and good to her like her first friend, Fiona. After the loss of Fiona, Muriel felt all alone. She spent the rest of her days wallowing in guilt at having failed to save her. The beatings, scolding and sexual assaults she endured after didn't compare to the grief.

Muriel resolved that because she couldn't save Fiona, she would at least make up for it by assisting Ruth. She truly believed that no one deserved a fate like the one that was being shoved down Ruth's throat over things she wasn't even part of.

Muriel finally arrived at Ruth's door and wiped her sweaty palms on her apron. Her lord was surely going to kill her for this but so be it. With one turn, the door was opened. Ruth hastily fluffed a pillow and stuffed it under the blanket with the rest.

Muriel was amazed at the illusion that someone was sleeping there. Never had she ever seen or heard of such trickery before. Muriel smiled widely at Ruth and she giggled. Ruth suddenly felt her stomach churn and she pulled out a bucket from underneath the bed.

Muriel averted her eyes as Ruth's breakfast poured out quick. After five minutes, Ruth huffed and puffed. She weakly sat back and wiped her mouth. With the corner of her eye, she saw Muriel furrowing at her with her head low. Ruth gave her a thumb up and Muriel's shoulders relaxed a little.

'Pregnancy issues.' Ruth lazily waved her hands. She took a look at the trailer and stretched her lips. 'That's bigger than your usual one.' she remarked.

Muriel nodded her head. 'I had to break the other one so that I could have an excuse to use this one.' she explained.

'Why so?' Ruth got up with a soft cough - her throat was still burning.

Muriel lifted the maroon cloth covering the trailer and it exposed an open space. 'You are small enough to fit here. I can push you out of here and once we are outside, you run.'

Ruth's face brightened up and she nearly squeaked in excitement. 'Muriel you are a genius.' a thought crossed her mind and her brows narrowed close. 'What do you mean by I should run? I was under the impression that we are escaping together. You can't honestly stay here after I'm gone. They will kill you.'

Muriel shook her head softly. 'Do not worry about me. I'll be at peace once you are free from here. Now come on, get in quick. We don't have much time.'

As soon as they were set, Muriel rolled the trailer out of the room. Her heart thumped away and her sweaty palms made it difficult for her to grip the handle properly. Muriel's biggest fear was that someone was going to notice how slow she pushed the trailer due to Ruth's weight. Underneath the solace of the cloth, Ruth squeezed her eyes closed and covered her mouth. She would be damned to allow her anxious breathing to get them caught.

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