The rattle of weapons reached his hearing. Through the cracks of his loosely closed eyes Simon watched the approaching convoy. Five! There were five guards; two of them walked in front, and three behind the arrested. So each Sicarius will take on one Roman. Simon will kill the one in the front.

The soldiers were very close. Simon clearly saw their short tunics, leather chest armor, and lowered swords in their hands. The soldiers walked at an easy pace, halfheartedly speaking among themselves.

As if their procession woke him, Simon slowly tore his body from the ground, sat up, and started rubbing his eyes. The soldiers did not pay any attention to him. God knows some negligent Nazirite monk drank too much wine for Passover and is now lying on the ground!

That’s it; now he will get up and approach them. He will put on a spectacle, start yelling and waving his hands, until his right hand will stealthily slide under the cilice.

Eyes…the eyes of bound Jesus looked at him. It seems Jesus was not surprised that Simon is here now, on this road.

Pale, completely exhausted over the previous night, Jesus looked at Simon and his eyes had no reproof, no condemnation. There was only inexpressible pain. Maybe Jesus wanted to say something and stopped for that reason. But one of the soldiers swung and hit his head with a fist clad in a leather glove and yelled in broken Aramaic “Move it, King—don’t stop!”

Jesus staggered but did not fall down.

“Aah!!!” Simon screamed, and sensing that he no longer belongs to himself, jumped to his feet.

But some force threw him back on the ground. He tried to get up once again, but his legs went numb for some reason. His hands pierced with nails filled with sharp pain. It was as if he was nailed to a wooden cross, and then turned upside down.