For no one who destroys such a spirit as that and replaces with an empty shell deserves to be happy. Any being that can make another so utterly hopeless, so scared to see the light of dawn to fear what it may bring deserves the worst forms of punishment that this life cannot bring.

It is evil- pure and utter.

But the worst of this horrific case? She feels, she has so long heard it, that she believes their terrific and extortionate lies.

Whilst many of her tears are cried in frustration and self-pity, she is not all as selfish as that; and more than half her anxiety is caused by the feeling of uselessness, that her actions, despite whatever she tries, are wrong. She causes their unrest, her actions, not theirs. That she cannot behave in the right manner to satisfy them, that she cannot be good enough for them. Her self, as much as she may try- is not what they want. And as much as she tries to conform to their will- she cannot.

As much as I try to tell her she already exceeds anyone's expectations of her, she only ever replies to me that 'they can't have been much then', and does not believe that her parents could ever be cruel enough to never be proud of her.

She wanted to believe there was a reason for her torture, and that is wasn't just reasonless pain- and in wanting that I don't blame her; but I am not cruel enough to lie to her. Not when so many already do.

She once told me, one afternoon, when she was lying on her bed after a berating, waiting for her soon-to-be bruises to stop throbbing, that if she ever could afford a house- she would want the furniture to be large. Overly large, so that 'other people would have the chance to feel as small as I do'. The sentiment, the idea that despite all my empathy I still didn't know her head and heart, was a shock to me. I thought she had contented somewhat, escaped the emotions she was in previously, but no. For she, she has done what mankind does best- adapt. And I soon learned that her contentment was another's sadness, and her sadness another's pit of despair.

Oh that she should have been spared- but no. Before me now she sat, lost in that strange land where reality seems distant and yet far too close, listening to the oh-so-real screams of a memory, flinching at every touch, every voice, every sound.

A bird landing on her windowsill brought a scream from her, jumping violently as she did so. I pitied the girl, I couldn't help it. She noticed me again, and with a look that I knew too well to mean 'I'm sorry for letting you see my emotions- and I'm sorry that I've caused you pain with my own', fought herself for a thought. In the end the selfish side I yearn to indulge won, and she climbed upon the bed next to me, and though I hardly believed it possible, sat down in my arms. We had never been this close before, and though it felt like the most natural thing in the world, and probably to anyone whom could see me to look at us, would have looked like it too- all I could do was admire her.

For a child who flinches at a touch, at people who stand too close, to willingly put themselves into another's touch was by far the greatest act of trust she could give. For many times I have tried to raise her chin, tuck a strand of hair away, and just as many times she has expected a blow, or at least some violent action.

It is not that she doesn't trust me, simply she has never known anything but what she experiences.

But here she was. Curling up in my arms like a cat in a basket, I relished once more in being able to stroke her hair, to physically comfort her. It was a miracle that, had it only have come sooner, could possibly have cured her from this mental sickness that has overcome her- this fear, constant fear of everyone.

"Each act of kindness, bestowed upon a creature known to hate and disgust, confuses and hurts more than you will ever know.・She whispered into my chest as she clutched at my clothes, my hand still lost in her hair.