'Little Darling' by Jacqueline Doyle

It was my idea. Not his. (My theater teacher. My mother’s boyfriend. My soccer coach.) You can have me, I told him. And he put his hand on my cheek, so tender. Meet me, he said. (After school. After your mom leaves for work. After practice.) Don’t tell anyone he said, and put his finger on my lips. Not even your girlfriends. You have to promise. And I promised. And we met. And we. And he. And I. He loved me. (Not his wife. Not my mother. Not that other girl like they said.) He was sweet. He stroked my hair and called me his little darling. You’re a woman now he said to me after. (And it was good. And it wasn’t. And he said it would get better.) I’m trying to explain it was never his idea. It was mine. He was mine. I’m a woman now.


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First published in Wigleaf on 11 September 2017.

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