• I paced back in forth in front of her home. It was a mirror of every other house in the mundane suburban complex. I kept pacing back and forth, back and forth, waiting. It was ten o’clock and she hadn’t arrived from work. Work ended at five.

    I waited to see her. To see if she still loved me. I should have been more protective. I should have been someone better for her. I should have driven her to work, no told her to take the holiday she had been racking up and gone on the first flight to Italy. I should have done a lot of things. She had always wanted to go to Italy, she saw it in a movie once, and dreamed of going. It was the idea of romance that hooked her; their accents; their food; their scenery. Romance was blossoming on every square inch of their land, it seemed. Ever since then it was only her dreams had taken her there. But there were reasons, difficult reasons, which put a burden on her, to not allow her to go. Her father.

    Her father, he hated me, and consequently hating her for being with me. He hit her. The words that came out of his mouth were not ones to say to your own flesh and blood. She was too afraid to call the cops. Through all the torturous abuses he brought upon her, she still managed to conjure love for him. I could not fathom why. It was too messed up, too nonsensical of her, and it brought out the very worst in her. Instead she relied on me to help chase away the nightmares. Though it was nearly impossible not to report him, I was, in fact, terrified of him myself. There was no telling what an individual is capable on. Fear figuratively nailed me to the ground, rendering me as useless as she.

    Still pacing, I glared at my watch as the time passed on. I new where her father was and I knew it was unlikely he would return any time soon, giving me a sense of security to waiting outside for her to come home. He was probably out gambling her money away, getting intoxicated with his buddies, or committing some felony under the influence.
    I still walked up and down the sidewalk in front of her house, a sweat breaking out of my forehead either from the exercise or the stress, I wasn't sure. Either way, her depression had reached its peak. It was impossible to help him, she recognized that, but still continued trying. He was her dad, the only person, other than myself, she had left in the world.

    It was a constant question in her mind, the worth of her life. I reminded her there was more to life than all that surrounded her at present, that she had so much potential in a world of opportunities. It was apparent she did not possess the same train of thought as I.

    The thought of her gone brought a tear to my eye. But I knew she did it; I knew she couldn’t take the pain any longer. But hope still resided somewhere within me. Soon she would walk around the corner, see me, smile and run towards me, embracing me in a tight hug. But that would never happen. I still kept pacing in front of her house.

    There was no life left for her here. There truly was nobody but I that fully cared for her. Truthfully, she never let anyone close enough to care.

    The sky was dark as dark could be against the omniscient glow of the streetlights. All the neatly placed, identical homes lined perfectly along the long, straight road showed no sign of life within their walls. It was late.

    Headlights shone from afar, rapid progressing towards me, and my seat upon the curb. It was him. I knew it. I stood up, the headlights glaring into my eyes. The black, barely-still-running rust bucket of a car pulled up in front of me. Her father, the grim sat within.