How Broken The World Can Be

His hand is on her thigh, just below where the thin skirt has ridden up her leg, but it is not a possessive hand, not a restraining hand.  It is protective perhaps, but not jealous or insecure.  It is a protection that she claims against the world, against the harshness and brokenness of the world.  It is a security, and she turns into it, again and again, every time she returns to sit beside him, taking his hand and laying it again on her thigh, where she needs it, because she has already known too intimately how broken the world can be.

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