There was a sofa in front of the fireplace. I
meandered my way over to it and sat down. Eithne followed. It was
the first time that anyone had ever dared to sit next to me since
my parents' death. I couldn't help it. I had to touch her. I
darted my eyes at her hand a few times. And then… carefully I ran
my fingers over hers, up her arm, over her shoulder, her neck.
When I ran them down her back, she yelped. I jerked
"Don't hurt me!" I squealed, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't…"
she cut me off.
"Rhian, Rhian. Why would I ever think of laying a hand
on you? Why would that thought even cross your mind?" She said to
"Because, Eithne. I am scared. All of the times you have
touched me today, they were different from anything that I had
ever experienced before. Your touches are kind and loving. Warm
and gentile. I- I don't deserve that. All I've ever known is how
to survive. Yes, Ms. Keyll beat me, but so did Anna. Eithne, she
didn't love me. She never did. She could get so mad. Then, she'd
throw things and she'd hit me. She'd take it all out on me and
show no remorse. And Chris he… did horrid tings to Anna and I.
But you are different. It's just; I've never known a kind touch.
felt something wet hit my hand. I looked up and saw her staring
blankly into the fire; tears were streaming down her face. It
was then that I came to a very strong realization. Here, it was
ok to cry. Here, I could be myself and not get beaten for
I felt something soft touch my cheek. I saw Eithne
pulling away from my face. She did the same thing to the tears on
my hand. A tender kiss.
"Why did you…." I could not bring myself to finish the
"Because, even when you are feeling down and hopeless, I
will always be there for you, no matter what. And, everyone
needs someone to kiss away their tears." She said softly. At that
moment, I knew I was home. And then, I smiled. For the first
time… in two years. I smiled.