I wanted her. That was all that mattered. I wanted her and nothing would get in my way. I was willing to do anything to have her as my own. She was like a drug. I was addicted to her and I was going crazy without her.

What attracted me to her? She had an innocence in her eyes. Her eyes sparkled with optimism. I loved that innocence. She was fragile and something to be cared for. I wanted to keep her safe from the cruel world. I wanted her to live her entire life with that innocence.

Her smile was breath taking. It never faltered and she never hesitated to smile. She was always smiling and laughing. Her laugh was cute but subtle. She seemed embarrassed to let herself go. I wanted to let her know it was ok to let go. Nothing would happen to her if she let herself go.

She was just perfect. I didn't want her to change. I didn't want her corrupted by humanity. This is how I saved her. I kept her innocent for eternity.

I first saw her behind a fence. It was recess time at the elementary school. She was sitting alone on the grass with a doll while her class mates played on the playground. She braided the doll's black hair into one thick braid. She hummed a tune while she did this. When she finished she hugged the doll.

I felt a pressure in my chest so immense I thought my chest would burst open. I smiled as if that was the only way to relieve that pressure. My vision focused down to her. Nothing took my attention from her. I watched every single movement, every rise and fall of her tiny chest. An adult called to the children and the children slowly filed back into the school. My smile disappeared and I was left with emptiness. My loneliness had never bothered me until that moment. I was so sorrowful of my loneliness.

I began my walk home in frustration. I kept my head down and watched the ground pass under my feet. The image of her small body was burned in my head. I couldn't stop thinking of her. I had to hear her voice. I had to know her name. I had to feel her tiny hand in mine. I was going to see her again tomorrow.

The next day I went back to the elementary school around the same time as the day before. Again I saw her sitting in the shade of a tree. She was reading a book intently. I watched her eyes shift back and forth across the pages. Emotions played over her tiny features. The pressure in my chest returned. It ached but at the same time felt good. I finally called out to her. She lifted her eyes from the book and stared at me. The pressure surged through my body when I saw her eyes completely. Her eyes were so beautiful.

She cocked her head to the side in confusion. I asked her to come over to me. She stood up and slowly approached the fence. Her eyes showed a curiosity. She stopped a foot from the fence. She was cautious. I asked her what her name was. Her voice was quiet but confident. I filled with warmth from head to toe when I heard her speak. Her name was perfect as well, Stephanie. I whispered her name to myself.

The adult from the day before called the children to come back into the building. Stephanie waved good-bye to me and ran to catch up with her classmates. Stephanie. Such a beautiful name to match such beautiful eyes and voice. I said her name over and over again as I walked back to my home.

I woke up the next morning knowing it was a weekend. There was no school on the weekends. I couldn't see my beautiful Stephanie until Monday. I walked by the school a couple of times over the weekend with hope. The playground was barren. There were no signs of children anywhere. I walked around aimlessly until Monday came.

My heart pounded as I walked toward the school knowing my Stephanie would be there. I saw her on a swing alone. She had her doll in her hands. Stephanie looked beautiful her in her blue dress. It was a light blue like summer skies with white lace around the collar. Her hair was pulled back into two braids and tied off with two blue ribbons.

A boy came over to her and whispered something in her ear. She giggled and the boy pulled away from her in confusion. He gave her an odd look and ran away. I finally called her name. Stephanie looked over at me. She recognized me and walked over to me. She again stopped a foot from the fence and stared at me. I asked her what her doll's name was. She hesitated for a second and then told me she'd never named her doll. She asked me what my name was. I told her I didn't have a name either. She giggled silently and told me that was silly, everyone had a name. I just smiled at her gently. She then asked me if I'd be here tomorrow. I told her of course, she giggled and ran off.

The next day I called to Stephanie and she quickly walked over to me with a smile on her face. She stopped closer to the fence that day as well. I searched my pockets for the present I had found her. It was a golden bracelet. The only thing wrong with it was that where a diamond should have been, there wasn't. I extended my hand near the fence. She squeezed her tiny hand through a hole and grabbed the bracelet out of my hand. That barest touch of her skin made my skin tingle. She looked at the bracelet with a sparkle in her eyes. She put it on her wrist and showed it off like a model. She thanked me more than once. I watched her twist and turn her wrist until she was called into school. She said good bye and walked away. I watched her walk into the school and finally went on my way.

Stephanie was so precious. The thought of her having to go through life like I had angered me. I wanted to protect her. I wanted to hold her in my arms and keep her safe forever. I wanted to be her sanctuary. I didn't want her exposed to anything bad. I wanted her to stay pure, sheltered and unaffected. I thought of sleep. When you are asleep you are unaware of the world around you. Nothing can harm you. I then remembered the many nightmares that tortured me at night. There was only one other way to protect my Stephanie. I could be with her forever and still protect her. She could mine. No one could take her from me. It was the happy ending every mother told their children before bed.

It was meant to be. Everything happened the way I had wanted it to. I told her I had a present for her, but she had to go someplace with me to get it. She told me to wait for her after school ended. When all the children rushed out of the school I saw her searching for me. She found me and walked over to me with a smile. She offered me her hand and I took it. Her hand was so tiny and delicate. I felt peaceful. I felt like I could have stood there with my eyes closed forever and nothing could touch me. I felt warm and safe. We were meant for each other. She made me feel safe and I would keep her safe.

I wanted us to be in a safe and peaceful place. A stream in thick woods was where we went. She never asked any questions. She trusted me to not harm her. We sat down together near the stream. I held her hands and we never took our eyes off each other. She never lost her faith in me. She smiled the entire time. Her eyes never faltered. She looked at me as if I were the only thing in the world. I pulled her small body into my arms and rocked her in my lap. I kissed her forehead, eyelids, and finally her soft delicate lips. They were still warm. I fell backwards with her still in my arms.

I now lay here with her small body on my chest. I stare up at the blue sky and remember her dress. I remember her soft voice, her subtle laugh that was music to my ears. I close my eyes and I can see her eyes staring at me. Her eyes are pure, innocent and untouched. I love her. I feel so much for her, love seems to be an understatement. I can't think of what to call it. She is my life. I take a deep breath. I feel heavy. I feel as though I become one with the ground. I sink into the ground with my Stephanie. It's so silent and peaceful. Stephanie is safe. I have saved her. My Stephanie and I will forever be together, protecting each other. Forever together.