CLAIRE: I figured his situation this way: I came into the world to take care of him for his mama. No one else wanted to. . . .
CLAIRE: "Don't send him away! We're his family. You can't send him away! It's not fair!"
ROANIE: "I'll take care of Claire, " Roanie begged. "Please, I tried to before, I'll never let nothing happen to her again. Please."
CLAIRE: "I won't let anybody send you away, You'll see. They're just confused, that's all. You tell'em. You tell'em you love me and we're gonna get married when we're grown up!"
I probably clinched it with this announcement. When he bent close to me and whispered, with bitterness and misery and determination . . .
ROANIE: "I won't never forget you, I won't never forget any of this,"
I knew he was going away and I couldn't stop it. I kissed him. My swollen mouth against the corner of his bruised one. He didn't flinch, he didn't kiss me back, he was like a blank rock. That was what we did to him. We closed him up inside himself forever. . . .