Originally Posted by: calebtras
When I was nine years old I used to play with a girl who lived two doors down in my apartment building. We each had other friends of our own sex we preferred but sometimes when the weather was bad I would knock on her door. Her mother was divorced, worked, and left Robin alone after school; all three things very rare way back then in our Irish Catholic neighborhood.
When she answered she was wearing a dress, ankle socks, and buckle shoes even though it was after school; all girls did. She had her brown hair in a ponytail tied with a ribbon.
We generally took off our shoes, sat on the floor and played board games. This day she said, "Let's play house. With Jenny." Jenny was her doll.
"Come on. Just for awhile. Then we'll play something you want."
"Cops and robbers?"
So for awhile we played with her doll and tea set and I was the daddy.
"Okay, now it's time for cops and robbers," I declared. I ran back to my apartment and got my cap pistol.
"You're the cop," I told Robin.
"But I don't know how to be a cop."
I was exasperated. That was the problem with girls.
"I know," she said. "I'll still be the mommy, but you can rob me."
I thought about it. "Okay." I pointed my gun at her. "Stick 'em up!"
Robin put up her hands and said in a high pitched voice, "Oh please, Mr. Robber, you can take anything but don't hurt my baby Jenny."
There was a toy box in the corner with a jump rope. I ran and got it. I turned Robin around, pulled her hands behind her and wrapped the rope around them several times, tying a bunch of knots.
"Now, where's your money?" I said in a gruff voice.
Robin pointed with her chin toward the Monopoly game on the floor.
"Go get it."
She knelt by the game and with her tied hands removed the cover and game board, got some money, then carefully replaced the cover.
She turned around and held out the money behind her.
I noticed she had picked out only ones, not the hundreds and five hundreds. I shoved them in my pocket.
"Where's your jewelry?"
Again she pointed, toward a cigar box on her chest of drawers.
"Go get it."
This time she had to reach up on tiptoes with her hands way up behind her to flip open the box and pull out some glass beaded bracelets. She handed them to me and I shoved them in my pocket.
I must have hesitated to figure out where to take the game next, because she wailed in a high voice, "Waaah!"
"Oh, my baby Jenny is awake. She's hungry."
"You tied me up so now you have to feed her, Mr. Robber." I realized that Robin was pulling me back into her game, but the fact is she was smarter and bossier than me. So she talked me through bottle feeding the doll, burping it, and changing its diapers, correcting my every mistake. She must have noticed that I was losing interest
"We have chocolate chip cookies, Mr. Robber. Please don't steal them."
Robin's mother didn't let her eat cookies before dinner, so this was a great idea. I pointed my gun at her. "Show me your cookies."
She lead the way to the kitchen and pointed toward the cookie jar. I grabbed two handfuls of cookies.
"No, Terry," Robin said in her regular voice. "That's too many. My mother will notice. Take four."
Robin sat down at the table while I got four cookies and poured us each a glass of milk. I was busily slurping down my milk and munching my cookies when I looked up at her and saw a look of exaggerated exasperation.
"Mr. Robber, you've tied me up so you have to feed me, too."
So I had to hold up her cookie, then her milk, then wipe her milk mustache with a napkin. I had the gun and she was tied up but
somehow I was losing control of the game.
"You can't make me watch tv, Mr. Robber."
Robin wasn't allowed to watch tv in the afternoons. I pointed my gun at her. "We're going to watch tv?"
Again in her regular voice, "Terry you have to be tougher than that to make me do something I'm not supposed to."
I pulled back the hammer and poked the gun in her chest. "We're watching tv!" I yelled.
"Bring my second cookie," she said, and lead the way to the living room and I turned the tv to cartoons. When she hopped up onto the
sofa she tumbled back on her bound hands and had to struggle back forward. Her dress got hiked up.
"Straighten my dress." Then she added in her high voice, "Please, Mr. Robber."
I pulled her dress down and fed her the cookie while we watched a few cartoons.
"Terry, pick up all the crumbs and throw them in the trash in the kitchen." I picked up all the cookie crumbs from her dress. "Turn the tv
off and turn the channel back to 5 so my mommy won't know."
After I had done everything she said, "Mr. Robber you can't make me go into my mommy's room."
She wasn't allowed in her mother's room when she wasn't home, and by now I knew the routine. I pointed the gun at her and she lead the way to her mother's room. There was a four poster bed, and I asked her excitedly, "Can I tie you to the stake?"
"Okay, later." She sat down at the dressing table. "Terry, open up that perfume and put a little on your finger." She was using her
regular voice now. "Put it on me."
I reached to smear it on her cheek. "Not on my cheek, silly. Below my ears."
When I had dabbed it on her neck she smiled at me and said, "You can smell me if you want."
I bent down and sniffed. At nine years old I was past the stage of picking on girls and years away from being attracted to them, but
looking back I think this was the first time I saw a girl as pretty and someone I wanted to be around.
"Okay, now you can tie me to the stake." She went and stood with her back to the bed post. I untied her hands and she crossed them behind the post. I tied her waist to the post with one loop and tied her hands together.
"Now go to my mommy's closet and get the shoebox down from the shelf."
I dragged a chair over so that I could reach and got down the box. There was a bundle of letters inside, wrapped in string.
"Read me the letters."
I started to read them. They were from her father to her mother. He was a soldier in a war and wrote about how he missed her and loved her and just wanted to get back home and hold her. I wasn't a very good reader, and whenever I stumbled Robin would correct me. Even when I hesitated, she told me the word, so I knew she had the letters memorized. Then I noticed a choking in her voice and looked up. Tears were coming down her cheeks. I just stood and stared.
"Keep reading," she said.
I read about three letters and then she couldn't correct me anymore. She was sobbing. I quickly bundled the letters and put them in the box back in the closet and ran to her. I was terrified that somehow I had hurt her. I fumbled with the rope. As soon as her hands were free she hugged me tightly and buried her face in my shoulder. I could feel my shirt getting damp. I put one arm around her and patted her back.