The boy waited for her to leave. He knew that she meant well. He knew that she wasn’t going to hurt him in any way. But he waited for her to leave the bathroom before he removed his clothes.
He averted his gaze as he undressed. He didn’t look at the bruises on his arms or at his reflection in the mirror. Fortunately, that avoidance behavior was a familiar habit with him. Mirrors were not kind to him. They were blunt and cruel. He couldn’t pretend away what they impassively revealed.
But if he didn’t look at it, if he didn’t see the dark purples and yellowing-greens on his skin, he wouldn’t be reminded of where they came from. He wouldn’t remember the fear. He wouldn’t remember the panic, the certainty that he was going to die this time.
But this woman…This woman who’d just let him into her bathroom…She…
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