School today flies by. Probably because I can't wait to get her away from the man who's beating her. She says he couldn't survive without her, but I'm sure he can just fine. Vivian deserves so much better than to live there and be used as a punching bag. She deserves princes and castles, not a dark slum and abusive father. She deserves better than that, and I intend to see she gets it.
After school, I drive Vivian back to her house. I walk with her up the cracked cement stairs and into her home. The floor is creaky and stained with liquor and singe marks from cigarettes. She leads me up an iron set of spiral stairs into her room.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" I ask as I look around.
"Stand in the hallway and make sure he's not here."
I nod and step outside her room. I can hear her quickly packing, like she can't wait to be out of here. I wouldn't blame her. After about half an hour, she appears behind me with two suitcases and a medium sized bag. I take her suitcases and lead the way downstairs.
"Who are you?" asks a fat balding man with a curvy blonde on his arm.
"Dad, just leave us alone," Vivian says.
His shark-like gaze never leaves me. "I asked your rich brat friend a question."
"I'm Trace, and I'm making sure Vivian's safe."
Her dad laughs. "Safe? She's safe enough here. She don't need to go nowhere else."
"I'm getting her away from you," I say angrily. This is the man that beats Vivian.
The blonde girl with him laughs nervously. "Come on, Harold. Forget about the stupid girl and her friend and worry about me."
Harold's eyes shift to Vivian. "So my beating this morning didn't take you down far enough, is that it? That's something I need to fix."
I step in front of him as he lunges at Vivian. "Leave her alone."
Harold steps back, still watching his daughter. "Go ahead, leave. You'll be just like your worthless mother, and when this rich best is done using you as a slut, don't come back here to me. And don't think I'll help you if you come back pregnant. You ain't worth the trouble."
"Come on, Vivian," I say. And keeping myself between her and Harold, I lead her outside to the car.
I put her things in the back and walk back to her. "It's going to be okay, Viv. You'll see," I say as I out my arms around her. She buries her face in my chest and cries. I don't know what to do, so I just hold her tightly and keep telling her things are going to be okay.