My grandma used to tell me stories about monsters, and dragons, and knights and stuff.
She told me that bad people always got punished eventually, and the Light would protect good people against the Dark.
My grandma died when I was 4.
Not able to support me without help from grandma, my mom moved in with a man who lived in a stinky trailer. My mom's boyfriend was a bad man. He hurt me a lot, and did very mean things to me.
Sometimes I would bleed. Those were the easier times with him. When he got really bad, I didn't bleed so much; I would cry a lot though.
So I wasn't sad when my mom's boyfriend went away. I knew what had happened. It was the Light protecting us from the Dark.
Then one night soon after that, I met my Protector. He looked a little scary, but I could tell he was a good man.
He wasn't mean to me. You see, I was a good boy. And he was only mean to the bad boys.
He asked me if my mama was home; I shook my head no. I said I never knew where mama was when it was dark out.
He asked me to come with him. I did.
He gave me some candy and a neat toy. It was one that I had seen on commercials, but I didn't have any money to buy it.
I told him thank you for the candy and the toy, but I wanted to go back my house. My favorite cartoon was going to be on soon.
He started touching me with his arm then, and I was scared. I remembered bad things that my mom's boyfriend did. I began to cry. He took his arm away, and he left.
He kept coming back though.
Always bringing me candy and toys, and I would excitedly forget any previous fears, and accept the treats.
And always, without fail, he would start touching me that same way.
And every time, I would cry.
And when I started to cry, he would leave.
This went on the whole summer.
I loved the treats but I hated crying when he would touch me like that. It reminded me of that mean boyfriend of my mom's.
After that summer, I never saw my Protector anymore. But I will never forget his face.
I see his face now, in the newspaper.
"Los Angeles Police Officer Anthony Mallard, age 29, was killed in the line of duty on Saturday, June 5th."
Happy Father's Day, Anthony - the closest thing to a father I ever had.
I wish I could tell you that I'm sorry; not because I cried, but because I never let you give me a single hug.