We crept to the house, intruders on white-picket perfection. White like my clean sheets upstairs. White like my empty wrists.
Eff's hand grasped mine tightly, his eyes made mad dashes between the sidewalk and myself. I blushed, blood creeping into my face but not escaping, not flowing out of me.
"Do you..." I stammered feebly, mind awash in confusion.
My new-found lover stopped to face me, then put a firm finger to my quivering lips.
"Calm," he hushed. "I do love you, Onley."
I smiled, a genuine display of genuine emotions. I again started to speak, but was made mute in a single horrifying moment.
"Son of a! What are you doing to my daughter?" The voice bellowed from the doorstep, words slurred and messy.
I turned to face my father, tears gathering in my eyes when I saw the pink in his cheeks, the droop of his jaw. Only noon, but already chasing his sorrows.
"You get away from her, boy, or I'll-" his threats fell to the ground as he did, anger plastered across his visage.
Eff looked at me, horrified, jaw agape. I just cried. Bawled. Went into hysterics. Then my father was on him.
It was a blur.
Shouts, screams, yells. Some were my father's, some Effs. Some I hardly recognized as my own.
By the end of it all, Eff's body was a mimicry of mine: tired, defeated, pale complexion marred by colour. Mine was red with blood from my cuts. His was blue with bruises.
I still knelt on the ground in tears, Eff sprawled beside me, panting. My patriarchal monster had gone back to his bottle, and neighbours had crept from behind the safety of their curtains, their prisine pickets and imaculate lawns.
We were a spectacle.