What Dean ThoughtMature

After Dean had sent five-year-old Annabelle Lee to bed, he thought, “What did I just do? She is old enough to remember abuse like that and tell her mother or father. What will my sister think? Will she press charges against me? What will Annabelle Lee's father say?" 
"You should have thought about that about a half hour ago."
"Who said that?" Dean questioned. 
"I did," said his conscience. "It is nobody's fault but your own."
"Now I will have that hanging over my head every time I look at her, if I am allowed to go near her. Annabelle Lee trusted me. I bet I lost her trust as well as my sister's trust. My sister trusted me to watch her kids but I did a rotten job. How will I ever be able to fix this? Will I ever be able to fix this?" Dean thought.
"I doubt that you will be able to fix it, but what you can do is not deny what you just did when you are asked about it by anyone including Annabelle Lee's mother. As I said before it is nobody's fault but your own. That little girl that you just sent to bed will probably hear that for the rest of her life. She will learn that whether or not she wants it to be true, it will always be true because you hurt her in a way that she will never forget," said his conscience. "You alone are at fault."
"I know that and I feel guilty about it. I wish that I could change what I did but I can't. I will end up in prison," thought Dean. 
Meanwhile, this was going through scared Annabelle Lee's mind as she went into her room, "What just happened?! That was scary! Why did he do that? I didn't do anything wrong. Was what he did bad? If it wasn't bad, why would he tell me not to tell my mom but he didn't say anything about not telling my dad? I will tell my dad then. Uncle Dean did not say anything about not telling my dad. Why did he do what he just did?!" 
Just as he thought, Dean did end up going to prison. He stayed for seven years and had many conversations with his conscience during his time in prison.
"I know that Annabelle Lee will be very afraid of me. I still have three years before I can get out of prison and six more years before I can even go near her. Hopefully by the time I can go near her she will be less afraid of me. I get out in 2005 and her restraining order against me does not end until 2008," thought Dean. 
"I understand that Annabelle Lee has problems concentrating on her work at school. Do you think that this is your fault?" asked the prison counselor.
"Yes I do think that this is my fault because I hurt her when she was five years old. After that she was never the same again. My mother told me that Annabelle Lee has been through counseling and is very over protected by her mother and her uncles," said Dean.
Three years later Annabelle Lee started the seventh grade and that was also the year that Dean got out of prison. They lived in the same town but even if she did not have the restraining order against him, Dean could not go near any school that had young children in it. 
"How is Annabelle Lee doing in school, mom?" asked Dean. 
"I can only tell you that she does not trust very many males and she is wary of many boys. You have turned that happy, joyful little girl into a frightened little girl that (who?) knows too much for her age. She is thirteen years old and already afraid of most males. Do you realize what you did to my granddaughter and your second oldest niece?" 
"Yes I understand what i did to Annabelle Lee, but I cannot change it no matter how guilty i feel. I also lost the chance to see my own kids grow up as well as all of my other nieces and nephews," said Dean.
The year 2008 came too fast for Annabelle Lee because on July 20th, 2008, the restraining order that was protecting her for the last eleven years had ended.
"Pastor, can I talk to you for a minute?" Annabelle Lee's mom asked.
"Of course." 
"Annabelle Lee, go wait in pastor's car, please."
"Pastor, Annabelle Lee has had a troubled past. The person who made it that way, has been out of prison for three years and during that time, Annabelle Lee has had a restraining order against him. The restraining order ended today so if she seems upset or anything that is probably why." 
"Okay. Thank-you for telling me this, and I will make sure that my wife and the head pastor both know about this." 
"Thank-You so much."
"Not a problem. I will bring them back when church is over."
Later that morning, Annabelle Lee was at church when Mrs. Young came up to her.
"Hi Annabelle Lee."
"Hi Mrs. Young. What's up?"
"My husband just told me about the restraining order and the situation surrounding that. Just remember that I am available to talk if you want to."
Meanwhile, Dean and his sister were talking and Dean mentioned a C.D. player that he wanted to give to Annabelle Lee.
"You do realize that bribing her will not work, right?"
"Yes, I do know that. I just wanted to give her gifts from all the years that I missed."
"That was your fault. You missed those years because you made a choice."
"I know, I know," Dean said irritated. "I made a choice and now i have to live with what I have done."
"You are not the only one who has to live with the results of you action. My daughter and the rest of the world all have to live with the result. Annabelle Lee is 16 years old and has not even thought of dating because of what you did to her. She is scared of males. She is afraid that someone else will do what you did to her again," his sister said. "You better go. Annabelle Lee will be home soon."

The End

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