"Lynn, sweetie?" Janie peeked in on her child, and noticed the little girl sitting up in bed, staring straight ahead. "It's past your bedtime."
"I'm not sleepy" The little girl yawned, then adjusted so she could sit up even more.
"What's been wrong? You're not behaving as you usually do. Picking locks, and you've missed recess to write lines for your history teacher-" Lynn burst into tears and Janie rushed over, wrapping the little girl up in her arms. "You can tell me anything, anything."
The little girl shook her head no and held on to her mother more tightly. There were things she was sure that Janie wouldn't listen to. "Eunice Lynn, tell me right now."
"Is that man coming back?"
"The- which one? You're supposed to be asleep when I have guests over. Did someone hurt you?"
"The mean one." Lynn shook her head no, because he hadn't hurt her. Janie's face drained of blood, and she held her child even tighter. "I want to make him go away. He hurts you, Mommy."
"I win." she said, stroking her daughter's back. "I don't know what he wants, but every time he shows up here asking for something, I kick his ass and if you repeat that word you're in big trouble."
"Can you kill him? Is he my Father?"
"I don't think it's my job to kill him, Lynn. I'll find some way to get rid of him, promise. Didn't I already tell you he isn't your Father?"
"He keeps saying he is. Mommy, he's going to kill you."
"It's me and you Lynn. We're all the family we need. No one is going to kill us."
"Can I have another weapon?"
"What if he comes tonight and gives you another black eye?"
"Stay in your room if he comes here again."
"Can I call Grandpa or Phoenix?"'
"No! Don't tell them about this! Your Mommy can clean her own messes up, and I can't die."
"Is he going to kill me?"
"He's not getting near you."
"He went to my school."
"Mommy, are you mad at me?"
"No dear. Everything will be okay."
"I like my school."
"We'll keep the apartmet, but you'll still have to go to grandpas when I Work"