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Wednesday, July 06, 2005
  Something New

I'd looked out for Jenks from the moment he was born. From the moment he slivered out of his mother, caked in white goo and bawling at the sudden chill, it was my breath that warmed him and my shadow which shielded his just-opened eyes from the glare of the delivery room lights.

When he was a child, my voice carried far enough to warn him when he was on the verge of stepping from the path and into danger. Sometimes I felt like I was keeping him from harm by will alone, with no help from the others who were charged with his welfare. Still, he managed to reach adulthood without injury; his bones unknit, his skin unscarred and in his mind, complete ignorance of my existence.

His brother was a different matter. Occasionally he would claim he'd seen me (not that he knew who I was, far from it) and he would shiver and cry and cast his eyes wildly from side to side as if he were surrounded by lurking assailants. Eventually his eyes would tire and his lids would droop until he slept peacefully, forgetting everything he had seen for a year or too until it was his time to be observant again. Jenks remained subordinate throughout, and would never try and reassure his brother, even when he protested for hours that he'd seen me outside their bedroom window (he was not believed because it was the middle of the day, and Jenks' mother was outside cutting the lawn, pushing the mower right up to the wall of the house, certain that she'd seen no one, and he was being a baby, even though he was the oldest). I took no pleasure from upsetting the boy, and did everything I could to remain hidden. If I made mistakes, it was better for them to be lapses in anonymity, rather than allow Jenks to come to harm. 
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