she tip toed down the hall before stopping rights at the door, michael hot on her heels, and she looked through the peep hole on her front door. on the dimly lit porch stood a man who looked to be in his late forties, his arms crossed and an angry frown painted on his face.
"Michael Gordon Clifford, I know you're in there! open up!"
the angry man yelled, still unnamed.
"mikey, she whispered quietly, who is that? "
"that's my father."
he whimpered, shrinking back against the wall of her apartment.
"if y'all aren't coming out then I'm coming in !"
his studious voice was followed by a series of loud bangs on the door. they ran down the hallway, but were too late. michaels dad had grabbed him by the collar of his sweater and was dragging him quite harshly out the door of her apartment.
she yelled, sprinting after him and trying to get to mikey. his dad was already out in the parking lot throwing punches and kicks with wild abandon. he was just taking it, just sitting there, a single tear rolling down his bruised cheek. she slapped his dad fiercely, and pushed him away. she quickly helped him to his feet, and dragged him inside the apartment.
"I'll be back, boy!"
his father hollered from outside the door, before stomping off and slamming the door to his pick up and speeding away. she turned back to him and gasped. he had a split lip, and his left cheek had a giant bruise on it. his hair was stuck to his forehead in what looked like a gash that was bleeding pretty badly.
"go sit on the counter, I'll clean you up."
she mumbled, before heading to the bathroom. she returned with a first aid kit and he was sitting on the counter with his face in his hands, sobbing quietly.
she rushed over to him, lifting his face to look him in the eyes.
"it's ok." she whispered, running her thumb over his cheek.
"no it's not. I'm the boy, I should be fighting back, not just taking it. you shouldn't have to defend me. I'm just a wuss." he sniffled, looking up at her with his vunerable green eyes.
"you're not a wuss, if you were a wuss you wouldn't have talked to anyone, you wouldn't do anything. you'd just feel sad for yourself all the time. you still live your life."
"this is why I love you."
"I love you."
and with that, he grabbed her face and gently pressed his lips to hers for a brief second.