I didn't mean to kill her. It wasn't supposed to be like that, she wasn't supposed to die. She was supposed to be okay, she was just supposed to be better, normal again. We were supposed to have everything be okay again- she wasn't' supposed to just keep bleeding and bleeding…

I wouldn't ever have hurt Carolyn like that, not like that. I loved her too much to hurt her. The only reason I even agreed to was because I loved her so much, to keep her safe, keep her mine.

I remember the first time I ever saw Carolyn… she was walking to school, well, to the bus stop that would take her to school, anyway. I was driving to work- I work at Jiffy Lube- and I just happened to be driving past her at the right time, when she was still walking alone, not clustered in the anonymous group of kids waiting at the bus stop. I always passed the bus stop on my way to work, and I had never noticed Carolyn among all the kids there- had never bothered looking. We would never have met at all, had I not seen her walking that day.

She was so beautiful- not in the way most guys would describe as beautiful, like some Playboy chick or something, but I don't know, like an old painting or something. She had this really long brown hair and freckles, not the splotchy kind but real light ones on her cheeks and nose. And blue eyes, that were all sad and serious…

I couldn't help it… I mean, I'm not normally like this, I don't usually stalk girls on their way to school like a pervert. I don't even have a girlfriend, or I didn't then anyway. But Carolyn was so pretty, and when I saw her that first time I just had to stop and talk to her.

So I rolled down my window and I called out to her. She kind of jumped and turned her head real fast to look at me, and she wouldn't come close to my car. She looked all worried and suspicious, even kind of afraid. But I liked that- I liked that she didn't' just jump in the car with a guy she'd never met before. It showed me she was smart, that she wasn't skanky like a lot of girls who would just go off with anyone.

We didn't do anything that first time we met. She was sort of weirded out by me. We just talked a little, with her off a good distance from my car, and I didn't' even ask her name. I could tell she wasn't that kind of girl who'd take a ride if I offered one either. I just said it was a nice day and asked if she was on her way to school, things like that. I didn't even tell her my name. I was real patient, real hopeful that maybe eventually I could say more.

After that I started timing every day so I passed that exact spot on my way to work at the same time every day… and more often than not, I'd see her. I'd always smile and wave, roll down my window sometimes and talk to a little to her real casually. This went on for weeks, maybe even months- and gradually, Carolyn got used to me, stopped being so suspicious. It got to the point where'd she'd talk to me easily, told me her name, what grade she was in, and I told her my name, Liam, and that I was on my way to my job at Jiffy Lube- that I wasn't smart like her, I had dropped out at sixteen. And after I guess two months or so, when I asked Carolyn if she wanted me to give her a ride to school instead of having to go on the bus, she accepted.

We talked a lot as I went to drop her off at the high school. And I was so glad, so proud, because she finally seemed to trust me, feel comfortable. I wasn't a bad guy- and I was so lucky that a girl so young and pretty could see it.

Before long I was taking Carolyn to school every day- and then taking her home as well. I'd pick her up for school about two blocks from her house- she'd stand on the corner and wait for me. I'd drop her home at the same spot after we'd drove around a little, killed the time she would have been on the school bus. See, we didn't want her parents to know I was giving her rides. She didn't' want them to know she'd been talking to a stranger in his car. And then when she began to fall in love with me, we had to be even more careful.

See, Carolyn was fourteen when I first started driving her around. We waited until she was fifteen before we actually started dating, before I kissed her or touched her even, but the fact was, I was 19. It was illegal for me to be involved with her, even if she wanted me to- even if she loved me too.

We had to be real creative to have more time together… both of us started waking up earlier so we could have time in the morning to drive around kissing. I asked my boss if my lunch hour could be at 3 instead of 12, because that was when Carolyn got off school. He thought it was weird, but he let me do it- there was always someone there during lunch hour then, which he liked. That gave me nearly an hour to be with Carolyn before I had to drop her off at the corner.

We knew no way could we let her parents know about us- or anyone, for that matter. Not until she was sixteen, old enough to give sexual consent legally. Until then, we were sneaking around a lot.

That's why it freaked me out so much when she told me she was pregnant- freaked both of us out. With her pregnancy, all our elaborate planning was ruined…

I remember how Carolyn looked when she told me- so small and young, sad and vulnerable… she was biting her lip, eyes down, full of tears as she tore at her cuticles nervously. She was acting as if she was afraid I'd hit her, scream at her- or leave her. Had I not loved her so much, hated so badly to have our love threatened, I might have been tempted to do so, right or wrong.

We were horrified- I mean, what could we do? She couldn't have the baby- no way could she. She didn't' want it, neither of us did. We were too young, we weren't ready for a kid. And what would happen to us? We'd be split up, that's what- I'd go to jail, I'd be arrested for statutory rape! They'd say I was a pedophile, I'd have this record as someone who sleeps with little kids, and it wasn't' even true! Carolyn wasn't a little kid, and she wasn't like most 15-year-olds either. She was beautiful and funny, mature as and adult. And it wasn't like I was 50 or something, I was only 19! But still, they'd arrest me, separate us- if her dad didn't kill me first when he found out.

Obviously we couldn't keep the baby- we'd have to get rid of it. But neither of us could afford for her to have an abortion. And even if we got the money, how would we keep it a secret? They'd know she'd been to an abortion clinic, there were tons of ways people could find out.

We didn't' know what to do… Carolyn was way late for school that day, because we drove around most of the morning trying to figure something out. Finally we came up with a plan. Neither of us were happy about it, but it was the only thing that seemed like it might possibly work.

I remember how scared we were as I picked up Carolyn earlier than usual the next morning. Carolyn was pale, eyes watery, and she glanced at me often, nervously. My hands shook on the steering wheel, and I kept looking at her as often and anxiously as I could, trying to wrap my mind around what I was about to do to her.

For I was going to have to hurt her… I was going to have to hurt Carolyn, whom I loved, if only to save her, save us. I knew it had to be done, but I dreaded it.

We drove to my apartment, as planned. She had been there only a few times before. Both of us had called in sick to work and school on my cell phone, as planned- we were prepared to be at my house until three pm if we needed to be, for her to recover and me to help her, comfort her.

For I was about to abort my own baby.

We had it all figured out, all the details. She would take off her clothes and lay naked in the bathtub- and I would kick her in the stomach until she aborted. When it was done, I would clean her up, put her clothes back on, and she would rest until three. Then I'd take her home, and she'd be there before her parents came home. IF she still felt bad, or if the school called, she would tell them she was on her way to the bust stop and had really bad cramps, and had gone home. It couldn't go wrong, we thought, as horrible as it would be for us.

But it did- oh god, oh god, it did..

I could hardly stand to look at Carolyn when she lay down in my bathtub, waiting for me to do what had to be done. She was shaking, afraid, even as she tried to be brave for me, as she tried to show her trust.

That was what killed me the most, that she trusted me so much- trusted me even as I prepared to hurt her.

I remember taking a deep breath, wanting to look away from her, to walk away… her stomach was so smooth and pale, only a little swollen, seeming so fragile. And I was going to kick it, hurt it…

Think of the baby, I told myself. Think of what the baby would do to us both…

But I didn't' see a baby- I saw only Carolyn.

She must have noticed how reluctant I was, because she spoke to me then, her voice soft, loving. "It's okay, Liam," she said to me, "just do it. Please, just do it."

And so I did it… I did it, even though I didn't want to, even though it killed me inside, I did it. I raised my foot, and I brought it down hard on Carolyn's stomach. She groaned, gasped, and silent tears ran down her cheeks, she shuddered… but she held her arms down by her sides, and she said nothing, let me kick her again…

I felt like someone was twisting my heart into a terribly tangled mess, and tears were running down my face, I was choking, but I kept doing it, I kept hurting Carolyn, kept kicking her… I loved her too much not to.

I was actually glad when I first saw the blood between her legs… it proved I could finally stop, I could finally let her alone, it was working, she was miscarrying.

But then it didn't seem fast enough, she didn't' seem to be bleeding enough… so Carolyn asked me, in a hoarse voice, to kick her three more times, hard as I could, just to make sure it really worked. And I did… I kicked her, hating it, hating myself, and it seemed to work, it seemed to be okay. Carolyn was bleeding a lot more now, bleeding steadily… it was awful to see her like that, lying hurt and weak, bruised and bloody, but I was glad, both of us were. She was losing the baby.

But then it wouldn't' stop… twenty minutes had gone by and she was still bleeding, even faster than before. She had already lost the baby, I had seen it in this twisted, awful lump somewhere in the blood… but she kept bleeding, why was she still bleeding?

I didn't know what to do… I was terrified. Carolyn was bleeding and bleeding and I couldn't stop it, couldn't help her. She was really in pain, gasping for breath, so pale, so very pale…

I tried to help her, tried to sit her up, tie her hair back… but then she started vomiting. It was so bad, she was crying and shaking, bleeding, bleeding… and I had done it, I had done this to her.

I tried to clean her up, but she kept bleeding even when I put a towel down between her legs. Almost forty five minutes had gone by, she was shaking so much, so pale. She kept crying, saying my name, begging for me to help her, to stop her hurting. Help me, Liam, she kept saying, oh god, help me… Liam, oh god, Liam…

And I was so scared. What could I do? I couldn't call the hospital- then everyone would know what I'd done, what we'd planned together. They'd know I'd gotten her pregnant. They'd know…

So I just stood there, praying for the bleeding to stop. I held her hand, kissed her cheek, her forehead, as she struggled for breath, her chest rising and falling shallowly.

But the bleeding wouldn't stop… but her breathing did. As I crouched over Carolyn, crying hard, begging her to stop bleeding, to live, to get better, she went still… she made this horrible noise, this choking gasp, and looked straight at me as she died.

I couldn't believe it. How could she- how could this happen, how could she die? How could I have killed her when I loved her so much? No… no…

I pulled her out of the tub clumsily, my vision blurred from tears as I hugged her to me, her body so terribly sticky from blood… I didn't want to let her go.

Why, why…

I had tried so hard to keep her, and in doing so I had only thrown her away.