Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"What They Don't Know"

What they don't know can't hurt them, you think. It's better to keep it a secret, to keep it safe within your heart. Don't let anyone know. Lock it up and throw away the key.

"Mommy," your daughter says, "can I have a dog? Please?"

You tell her that owning a dog is a big responsibility and that you don't think she's ready for that yet. She looks sad and says, "But I saw one today and it looked so cute and it was so fluffy and nice and its fur was so black..."

And you stop. You look at your daughter with an expression of pure terror. "Mommy?" she asks. "What's wrong?"

What they don't know can't hurt them, you think. But it can hurt you. It can bite and rip and tear and maim and kill you.

Can you tell them? Can you tell your children your secret? If there is a hope in Hell to escape the Hound?

No. You can see it across the street now, waiting for you. If you looked through the memories of the last week, the past month, the past year, perhaps you could remember seeing it before, seeing it just out of the corner of your eye, just out of sight. It's waiting for you and no secrets you tell will stop it.

"C'mon," you grip your daughter's hand and you remember when you first laid eyes on her in that hospital and you knew you had to have her, had to take her. "I changed my mind," you say, "you can totally get a puppy."

Your daughter's face lights up with a huge grin as she says, "Really? You mean it?"

"Of course," you say. "Would I lie to you?"

What they don't know can't hurt them, you think. What they don't know.

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