i had a child. after she came home from school, i gave her lunch and put her to sleep. i tucked her up under her favourite fluffy blanket, put her to sleep. I had lots of work. It had to be done right then. Urgent, important grown up work. She was fast asleep. She was a deep sleeper. She would be safe here, I told myself, and went to the study to do my grownup work. The bogeyman came by that afternoon. He passed by the window, next to which her bed lay. He had balloons, of many colours, round, shining. And flowers. And chocolate. And he smiled at her and talked of many things. Fairies, clouds, stars, people, the world, love, loss and rain. All the things that fascinated my little girl. She must have stared at him in wide eyed wonder. She must have cried a little to think of all the waste. She must have stopped and shut her eyes every now and then. She must have taken reality checks. She must have called out to me ... but I had been too busy to here her call. The bogeyman put a spell on her. She must have slipped out, somehow, through the grill that gaurded the window, inspite of everything I had done to keep her safely in. I was still in the study when I heard her cries. He made her come out and left her crying on the sidewalk. She stood there in the afternoon sun. bawling like the idiot she was. Crying because he was gone. She had thought he'd take her sailing on a cloud. They would float above the skies. Drop handfuls of rain on people below. Paint sunshine in the skies. Laugh thunder in the night. Was it typical of my role that at that moment anger battled sympathy? fear battled love? How do you take care of a child? How do you bring up someone right? How do you teach a wild, crazy, dreaming idiot ... the difference between right and wrong, the important things in life, the ways of the world, self respect, survival. its hard. its very hard. and it will get harder as time goes on.