This is the Lad One

Now that the shaking has slowed
and the sobbing has stopped
I am relieved to see she has gained a semblance of control. This has been an emotional evening for us
as she shares secrets,
thoughts she might not have even known
until she weakly whispered them.

I hug her.
I hold her.
I tell her everything will be all right
and stroke her hair
and tell her I will never do anything to hurt her
like the other boys
the ones she talks about
that elicits such cries in the night.

It is true;
I will be good
and kind.
I will be there for her
and be strong for her
and will not take advantage
of this sweet, damaged creature
until after curfew.

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