She took me up the stairs. I trailed behind a little, gazing at the pictures lining the walls. A couple on their wedding day, smiling blissfully at the camera. A young boy and a girl, holding hands in a wood, the trees showing the signs of winter. A girl wearing a ball gown on the arms of a handsome man. A father and his son, fishing. She looked back at me, beckoned me to her and I scaled the remaining stairs with impressive speed. She looked me up and down but said nothing. I couldn't tell whether she was in awe or not. I blushed again and wished I could shrink into the shadows like I had outside. I followed her into a pink and purple room with pillows adorning an armchair. It was bright red and had a couple of dog-eared books on the arms. Red rugs thick with fur were scattered all over the floor, sometimes revealing the bare floorboards. As I stepped in I could feel my feet slowly sinking into them like quick-sand. I didn't like it.

'This is my daughter's room,' she explained, 'she's away at the moment. You can get changed in here,' She thrust some clothes into my outstretched arms, 'after you're done you can come and eat with us.' She went to go downstairs, but before she shut the door, she turned round and gave me a warming smile.

I really didn't deserve her kindness. I got out of my damp clothes wordlessly. Before I put the new clothes on (some jeans and a checked shirt- her husband's, I presume), I stared at my naked body in the full length mirror. I didn't need language; my body could tell the tale of my plight. Hair not cut, washed or brushed for weeks. Mud streaked face. Split lip. Bruised neck. Sprained wrist. The slice on my chest still weeping blood. Battered shins. Calloused, blistered and bleeding feet. I couldn't put on her clothes in this state. I wandered round the room, making sure not to taint anything with my filth and soon found an en suite. I washed myself in the sink and found some bandages in the cabinet. I covered my seeping wounds and towelled myself dry. I carefully put on the new clothes and dumped my old ones in the bin. I silently edged myself out of the room and left it like no-one had ever even been there.