It has always been about trust, or distrust:

She was convinced in the beginning that she was my project. Bah. And when we got over that, she was convinced my parents didn't like her. They didn't. And when we got over that, there was the two of us, cutting class and skipping town and grinning madly like fools.

I told him that it always takes me a while to trust, and he just laughed.

'You make up your mind the second you meet someone,' he said.
'You just don't trust everyone. It's not a matter of time, it's a matter of standards,' he said.
'No,' I said. 'Oh, alright, fine, yes.'
And he was right, he was always so right.

I knew this small girl who was always so sure she was safe with me, she'd stop her frantic screaming and settle into hiccups, sobs. Somehow she knew that I would not hurt her and this is the only thing that made me waver. I could not do it, I was incapable of caring for her sufficiently. She'd slide her hand into mine, and I'd trust myself to smile again.