I hear you little one

I’ve stayed too long and there’s no exit. There’s no plan for escape. I don’t even want to escape and she’s sad. Her heart is breaking under the weight of certainty.
She’s angry I’m not listening to her cries. This time is different I tell her. She doesn’t believe me. Poor thing sitting knees to chest in the corner, wishing the room were cleaner, wishing she had a way out, knowing I won’t be leaving this time, knowing she’s stuck.
She calls it stuck because she doesn’t know better. She’s only 10, maybe only 7. She cannot understand the complex reasoning and wisdom of maturity and healing. I admit, I haven’t taken her in hand and tried to explain yet either.
Maybe later tonight when all the strangers are quiet asleep in big beds I’ll sit on the floor too. I won’t get too close nor try to convince her. I’ll tell her the facts, my reasons, that this is the way it is, that I’ll do my best to take care of her, to be careful she doesn’t get hurt, that there are no guarantees and I’m sorry.
Knowing her she’ll cry, pour out a seemingly logical case to prove out her wishes as the best course of action. She’ll plead, maybe even whine but she won’t hit.
Her eyes will be far away. She will in fact be walking away hoping I follow though her body never moves. She’s done this feat of escape before to many bewildered hurt friends but never to me. I have not betrayed her.
Neither did they nor were they planning to, but I was faithful to her so I let her wander off for a while, a few hours, a week, whatever it took. She may not believe this time is different, that I won’t let her run away, that I’m betraying our rule yet she knows deep down it’s true because everything is all wrong. She says stuff like that often, “ALL WRONG!” She means it to, with all her might.
She has been right before in this observation, but not for years and the song still plays for her as if it’s never going to change because she knows it can’t. This is why she thinks I’m crazy for sticking around.
This is why she’s this close to a tantrum. I should at least give her that. A day alone together in a wood screaming between lyrics, dancing heavy footed on summer earth, growing soft when pink shows up unexpectedly.
Then we can sit and look. We can look into that flower the way one looks into their newborn’s eyes, for long minutes that are no time. We’ll see sparkles of sun playing on leaf tops. We’ll lay down on a soft patch of grass, close our eyes and see the bright orange red sun beating down on our upturned faces.
We’ll lay that way long enough to barely doze off, then we’ll sit up and stare all around us in a stillness that simply is. The tears can come then, not the ones accompanied by wrenching sobs, by rocking back and forth, by convulsive sighs, no not those. The quiet tears of resignation, and the smallest ray of hope.

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