The sun was beating down on Alain on a rare sunny day in the small town of Keady, Northern Ireland.
His hand was shaking from holding the spray can for such a long time, but when he stepped back to examine his work, he could not say he regretted it. The rest of the paints were at his feet, laying in a huddle, and some poked out of his duffel bag.
He would be praised for his work at the time being, as long as he came home unharmed.
''Shut your mouths, or you'll catch flies. Now get upstairs, and take care of your father'', an unmistakably English voice called out, and the girls ran upstairs, giggling like, well, young girls.
Alain was quick to turn around, backing up a little to get away from the English woman, standing there with her hands on her hips, a sour expression on her face.
''What's your name, boy?'' she asked, and at that exact moment, Alain didn't know it himself. Because he had been rescued, not by one of his fellow Catholics, or even a Republican, but by a Protestant.
As she looked at him with nothing but impatience in her eyes, he managed to stutter out his name.
''Well, Al-l-l-lain. Would you like a cup of tea?'' And he was taken aback by how quickly her demeanour changed, going from harsh to gentle in a split second. He nodded, wondering if she'd slip in some poison, so that she could deliver him straight to the Loyalists running along outside.