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PLEASE DON'T TELL



"Take off your pants!" ordered the large man.

The two of us just stood there not moving a muscle.

"I said take off your clothing," yelled the man again.

"Why are you going to take our clothes?" I asked.

"Just do as you are told," he demanded and took several giant steps toward us.

There were many a night that Billy and I had slept in the alley behind the Florida Theater. It had been a safe haven to hide in every time the two of us had run away from the orphanage. Many times the police had chased us. However, we had never been assaulted or robbed by anyone who lived on the streets.

Ten-year-old Billy began to sob, as he reached down and began to unbuckle his belt.

"Shut up you little bastard," screamed the man. He turned around to look down the alley behind him.

"What are you going to do to us?" I asked.

"I'm gonna tear off your balls and stuff them up your little asses," he said, in a slow drawn out spooky type of voice.

I just stood there too scared to move, but I reached up and tried to unbutton my shirt.

"YOU! Get over by the wall," ordered the man pointing his finger at Billy.

When I looked sideways, I saw that Billy was completely naked. As he began to move, his legs were shaking so badly that he could hardly walk. "I ain't got much balls. Really I don't," said Billy.

"You got enough for me.

I stood there holding onto the top button of my shirt. My mind was racing in every direction. I jumped when the large man reached out and grabbed Billy by the arm. He threw him as hard as he could against the brick wall.

"Bend over!" The man began to unbuckle his own pants.

Still crying, Billy leaned against the wall and bent forward. I stood there frozen, as I watched the man grab Billy around the neck and plunge himself against Billy's backside.

"OW!" screamed Billy. He began to stomp his legs up and down.

My hands began to sling back and forth in every direction, but no matter what I did, I just could not move my body.

"OW, OW," Billy kept screaming.

I looked down and saw an old broken shovel handle, which was lying next to the fire we had started earlier. I picked up the shovel and stood there holding it in my hand.

"You move one inch and I'll cut your damn throat. You got that you little shit?" said the man, as he stopped for a moment to look at me.

When he turned back to Billy, I took the shovel and scooped up the few embers left from the fire. Quickly I ran toward the man and thrust the hot coals at his backside. The ashes did not reach him, but instead fell into his lowered pants.

"You bastard!" screamed the man. He fell to the ground trying to remove his pants.

I ran over to Billy, grabbed him by the arm, and down the alley we ran. The faster we ran the more Billy cried. Several blocks down the street we stopped in the doorway of a large department store.

"We gotta get you some clothes, Billy," I told him.

I removed my shirt and wrapped it around him.

"Please don't tell nobody that he did it to me," Billy kept begging, over and over.

"But we gotta tell. You might have a baby now, I said with my eyes open wide.

Within minutes, the police were standing in front of us.

"What is going on here?" asked the police officer.

"I got to tell you something real important!"

"And what might that be?"

I looked over at Billy and saw him lower his head.

Several times I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out.

"Someone stole my clothes," said Billy, in a broken voice.

"Yeah, that's it. Somebody took Billy's clothes and they ran away," I explained.

Billy and I were taken to the juvenile hall, where we stayed for almost a week. He followed me around day and night afraid I might accidentally tell someone what had happened to him.

The two of us retuned to the orphanage late one Friday evening. Billy never was the same after that. He never smiled, and I never saw him laugh again, not even one time.



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