I opened the front door a sliver and peered through the crack to see who was knocking. It was Mr. Król, an acquaintance of my father. He'd stop by every few months for cards and drinks. He had a military haircut and tiny blue eyes blurry behind his massive eyeglasses.
   I opened the door. He smiled and asked if my parents were home. I told him I was alone, which was partially a lie. "That's what I thought," he said. He took my hand from the doorknob and led me back to my father's study. Once there, he left the door open a crack and fell onto the couch. He pulled me onto his lap.
   "We'll wait here until your parents get home. Say, how old are you now?" He laughed, and his green teeth glimmered. "Six? You're practically an adult. You know what adults do when the see each other? They kiss."
   Mr. Król tightened his grasp on my arm. I struggled to get away, but he grabbed my other arm and pulled me to his face. His breath burned my nostrils. He kissed me again and again, harder each time until his teeth cut my lip. I shrieked and cried for help, but he grabbed my face and covered my mouth. "Stop struggling, you little whore. I'm going to give you something, and if you keep resisting, I'll tell your dad what a bad girl you've been."

   There was a crash, and Mr. Król looked to the ceiling. Something was happening upstairs. Scratching claws bounded across the floor above us, down the stairs, and then in violently through the study door. It was Laika, our family's German Shepherd. She had freed herself from her kennel.
   Her body arched like a compressed spring. Her ears laid back. Her teeth and gums exposed. Her jaws snapped. The hairs of her thick coat stood on end. She stared down Mr. Król, barking, snarling, ordering my release.
   Mr. Król dropped me from his lap, and I scrambled behind Laika. It made no difference that I was free; she remained eager to strike. Mr. Król stood slowly and then backed out of the room. He closed Laika and me inside. "Nothing happened, little girl." he said from the hallway. "Remember that."
I heard the front door open and close. I pulled myself to Laika and buried myself deep in her fur. When I stopped crying, we left the study and re-entered our home. Laika laid awake, watching the front door for the rest of the evening. I slept on the floor by her side.