"Shhh, it's okay," I whispered.
America's head rested in my lap; eyes overflowing with tears.
I looked down at him with a kind smile."I know I don't come over often enough but"
A loud booming of thunder ripped through the air. Quick, bright flashes of light briefly illuminated the entire room.
"But," I continued, "you need to fight your fear of thunderstorms. As much as I want to be here with you all the time, I can't always comfort you when ever a storm comes."
Rain pelted against the window pane. The harsh wind forced the trees' branches to scratch the side of the house. The candle that laid next to me on the floor flickered in response to America's quick movement. He stared up at me. His dull blue eyes were swimming in tears; screaming with fears.
"I know, I know." I stroked his soft golden strands of hair through my fingers. "Even though you're all grown up now, you still have the heart of the child I once knew."
America's sobs tried to escape through his mouth but the duct tape wouldn't allow it.
My chest burned. What was I thinking? I CAN always comfort him. I'll make sure of it.
I kissed the top of his head smelling the lavender shampoo he always used. "Don't worry. I won't leave you ever again."
America tightly shut his eyes. Poor thing. The storm really is too frightening for him. I caressed his cheek to comfort him but he flinched away from my touch. His movements became more violent; no longer just squirming.
He tried to free his hands from the metal bracelets I gave him. He tried to free his legs from the rope blanket I gave him. He tried to free his eyes from my face but I wouldn't let him.
I wrapped my hand around his chin and forced it up toward my face. "You were too young to make those kinds of decisions. You didn't really want independence. No! Of course not! Children never know what's best for them, that's why WE adults take care of YOU kids."
I leaned in; our foreheads touched. "You were too young to live on your own. You were too young to know any better. You were too young to know how much you hurt me. YOU WERE TOO YOUNG TO KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE LEFT ME!" I removed my hand from his chin and his head fell to my lap.
I could feel tears run down from my eyes. I quickly wiped them away; we can't have two of us crying.
More thunder roared. America's whimpers and failed screams rang painfully in my ears.
"Shhh, shhh." I put his head against my chest. "It's just thunder. Thunder is all it is," I chanted. "It really hurts me to see you suffer like this."
I could feel his body shake. His heart ran wildly in his chest. Tears never ceased. I could feel it. His pain. His sorrow. His fear.
I rocked back and forth on the hard wooden floor refusing to let my child-hearted boy go. I won't let him leave me this time. No, no. Never again.
"I won't leave you and you won't leave me. Yes. We'll be together always. We'll love each other always. We'll eat together always. You'll stay a child always. You'll be with me ALWAYS!"