I reached out for his hand, the one that wielded the lead pipe that had broken my nose an hour earlier.
“I need your strength,” I said.
He didn’t take it right away. Later, he would move closer, inch by inch. He would lie next to me. Would be the reason I slept while breathing through a narrowed nasal cavity.
He would never say he was sorry, but I didn’t expect that from an eight-year-old. It would be added to the sum of things done for my children that hurt me but helped them. Never, ever, would that equation balance.