The first time he saw her, she was crying, crystalline drops flying from chocolate eyes. All he wanted to do in that singular moment was to embrace her, to hug her tightly to his chest and never let her go. He wanted to wipe her tears away with the pad of his thumb and trace her quivering lips until she smiled for him.

But he couldn't. It was wrong, so very wrong. So he let her slip away, the image of her tear-stained cheeks emblazoned inside of his head the only thing left that remained of her.

For days afterward, he couldn't get the image of her out of his thoughts. Every day, he found himself scanning the crowds for a little girl with navy hair. Yet, no matter how hard he looked, he couldn't find her.

His memories of her were soon warped and she became an enigma, a mystery, and he felt the urge to solve her. He wanted to know everything about her. What was her name? What did her voice sound like? What was she like? Why was she crying, that day that he first saw her?

He tossed and turned at night, the face that haunted him every waking hour melding into his dreams. Bags developed beneath his eyes and he felt his sanity begin to slip. He just needed to see her, one last time. He needed to confirm that she was real, not just a figment of his imagination.

The second time that he saw her, she was on her way to school, a backpack with a blue dragon on her back. His breath caught in his throat as he observed her from afar, fingers jumping with restrained excitement.

He wanted to call out to her, but she was already in front of the bus, rapidly approaching the gaping maw of the school bus. As she strode inside, he watched her slip away yet again. He leaned against his apartment door, feeling the bit of cold metal on his skin. It was then that he made up his mind.

When that little girl got home from school, he would speak to her. They would talk, nothing more. Then, his burning curiosity would be quenched and he could resume with his normal life.

He never could have expected that this innocent idea would soon distort and begin something that was truly taboo.