He told her fantastical stories.

He wove tales of princes taken forcibly from their homelands; or tales of knights in shining armor whose valor was shattered by a single loss. He enthralled her with the fierce heroes that with the strength of mind-numbing determinationpulled free of their despair to stand and fight; they'd stand despite their weakness and go on to overcome larger hardships in life.

The girl would listen with rapt attention as he spun his stories, conveying at length the problems the protagonist faced and his eventual clever solutions to the situation—

But one story she never heard; and the one he'd never tell was the tale of a wandering young man that relived his lost life of meaning and direction through the dramatized storytelling for a young girl; a man who relished in the moments of recounting fabricated parallels of his own ventures; who treasured the reactions of his audience because it built his own spirit back, little by little, until he could one day return to that life of glory;

But she'd never know; not until the man's conclusion had come, so that his tale could at last resolve—

And he would be the hero to surmount his utmost fears.