Home Is Where The Heart Is by Eric Nunnally

She cringed under the intensity of his fury, raising her arms to protect her face if he should go over the edge. Her eyes watered from the chaos that now seemed to rule her world. He caught himself, ashamed, and swung anyway, catching her on top of the head. She bolted to the kitchen, resolute that she would not go through this again. He chased after her, half-afraid of what was on her mind, half- seething with anger. Had he the faculties to think about the situation, he would have realized that he wasn't angry at her, really. But he had already snapped and wanted to vent on someone, anyone, even the person he professed to love more than anything or anybody.

He stopped suddenly, the fire in his eyes letting up enough for him to catch the gleam in her hand. The point pricked the skin of his abdomen behind his sweat soaked shirt. His mind cleared for a moment and he realized that she might have stabbed him had he not stopped. The fury returned and he slapped her across her face with his forearm, knocking her across the kitchen and into the wall beside the refrigerator where she sat like a rag doll. A deep sorrow jumped out of him, but he was out of control. He walked over to her with heavy feet, cursing and frothing, and began kicking her in her thighs as he yelled something at her about the knife.

Tears streamed down his face as he watched what he was doing and couldn't stop himself. He knew she wouldn't forgive him this time, and he hated her for it, and cried hard as he began to see the bruises appear.

At first the pain was unbearable, and then she went numb all over. The pain in her legs was gone. She could see them jump from his kicks, but she couldn't feel a thing. She couldn't hear him either. It was weird seeing him rant and rave soundlessly. There was an eerie electric silence plugging up her ears. She felt herself wearing an evil smile and just looked at him. He was going to hurt behind this, she promised herself.

He wanted to die, but was afraid to. He would have fallen to his knees in front of her but the knife was too close. He saw her stare and went cold inside. The heat of anger was suddenly replaced with the icicles of guilt and sorrow. His insides were destroyed. He crumpled and fell back against the wall away from her, tears wetting his whole face and saliva webbing his mouth. "Why me?!" was the question that burned out of his soul.

When the police arrived, he wished he had ran away. They treated him like a rabid dog, breaking him down to the kitchen floor and cracking three teeth in his jaw. They stuck their boots in his neck and pressed their guns to the back of his head. One even asked her if she wanted him dead. She was sitting on the couch with the medics and a police officer when they dragged him out of the house.

She watched them carry him away, and she couldn't help but wonder what he was. She didn't recognize him. She wondered if he was a wild animal or a criminal who had broken into her house. The police officer was writing something down and the red lights of the ambulance were flashing through the front room window. Her legs began to hurt, and her stomach, and face...

They cracked his head against the door putting him in the back seat of the squad car, and the blood felt like water pouring out of his head. Everything was confusion and he tried to speak and got a night stick in the throat. He passed out in between the nightmares and pain and begged her to forgive him.

Her mom was on the phone the policeman was holding, but she walked past his outstretched arm, wanting to breath, wanting to get outside and into the open air. She wondered where he was, forgetting what he had done. There were too many lights, and strangers, and noise. Where was he? She wanted to go to bed.

He woke up inside the nightmare. They were pulling off his pants and kicking him in the head. He thought his head felt spongy and passed out again.

Her best friend came into the room before she could get out of the door. They struggled and she fell, her legs weak and hurting. Everyone called her and she began crying uncontrollably. Go away! she tried to say through her sobs, but they put their arms around her and held her still.

He woke up again and felt sick, throwing up dark water over himself, coughing. He couldn't see who was around him, the figures were blurred and hazy. He could hear a hollow, far away laughter, and feel an excruciating pain somewhere - he couldn't tell where. His head felt like it was detached from his body, and he couldn't find his hands.

She wanted out of this hell night. Time was dragging, she didn't know where he was, nobody was listening to her. She felt the rage coming. They were walking through her house, going through her kitchen and living room, using her phone, the clock was ticking very loudly.

A policeman was on the phone talking too loud. She zoomed in like radar. She got up like a zombie, riding on his words, floating toward him. The rage began to cut.

"He's dead?!" the policeman blurted out, looking around to see who heard. His gun was gone. The first shot froze everybody until the phone hit the floor. But even before they could react, she squeezed the trigger again, and again, and again, and again, and again, click, click, click...

The medic wet his pants, frozen with fear until she reached for another gun. He ran out of the house and into the amBANG!!!

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