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“Shit, shit, shit,” Eve whispered, squeezing her eyes shut. She hoped that when she opened them it would all be a dream. It wasn’t, however, and she managed to compose herself before beginning the routine she’d been through a million times before, but hoped she’d never have to do again, “Dad. It’s Eve. Your daughter.”
“What the hell are you on about?” He hissed, taking an aggressive step forward. In response, Frank wrapped his arms protectively around Eve’s now trembling body and pulled her a few steps backward, away from her father’s dangerous state.
“Dad, please don’t forget again…” Eve whimpered as tears fell from her eyes, “It’s me. It’s Eve.”
Her father flinched, “I don’t know you! Who are you?! What am I doing here?!”
“Eve…” Frank whispered into her ear, “Call the hospital. Now.”
“What are you saying?!” Eve’s father yelled when he saw Frank whispering. “You think you can get away with hurting me?”
“Dad, we aren’t going to hurt you,” Eve cried.
“I’m not your dad!”
“Yes, you are!” Eve yelled as her voice broke into sobs. Frank held her even tighter.
“Fuck you!” He roared as he raced towards the two of them with anger blazing wildly in his eyes.
Eve froze in fear and Frank practically had to drag her away from her fathers attack. As her father continued to try and hurt the two of them, they managed to make their way up the stairs and into Eve’s bedroom. The second they were inside, they slammed the door shut and locked it. The two of them could hear her father smashing things and yelling. The whole situation was something Eve was entirely used to, but she still couldn’t help freaking out. This wasn’t meant to happen again. Ever. Everything was fine. Nothing was meant to ruin it. She was crying as hard as ever and her breathing became frantic as she leaned on the wall for support. Frank was by her side in a second. He pulled her into his chest and refused to let go.
“It’s gonna be okay, Eve,” He soothed.
“This wasn’t meant to happen again,” She wailed.
“I know. Look, we need to call the ambulance.”
“No! Not while he’s like this. I never even wanted to call them all those weeks ago! Why can’t we just leave it?”
“Because, sugar, he needs to be looked at. He hit his head and he had brain surgery. Eve, please. I don’t want you to go through this again.”
Eve shook her head, frantically, “No. This isn’t happening! Frank, make it go away!”
She cried into his chest as the sounds of her father’s outburst continued to echo through the halls of her house.
“I wish I could…” he whispered into her ear, still holding her close. “Everything is gonna be okay. I promise.”
“You can’t promise that,” she sobbed into his shoulder. “This is never gonna end! Why is this happening?” She shrieked more words that she was speaking to herself.
Frank didn’t know what else to say. His only thoughts were to embrace her as much as he could, hoping to protect her somehow. His heart ached as she cried and shook under his arms.
Eve let out a loud scream when her father began bashing on her door. Frank’s arms froze around her, refusing to let her go. His heart hammered in his chest as fear spread through him like wildfire.
“We’ll stay in here till he stops, okay?” Frank whispered to Eve.
She nodded her head as her shaking got more and more violent. He slowly walked her to her bed and sat down as she crawled into his lap and threw her arms around his neck, burying her face in his chest. Frank felt her flinch every time her father hit the door. His yelling seemed as loud as ever at that moment in time.
“Let me in! You’re both dead!” He roared.
Eve whimpered to herself, “Fuck. Don‘t think that.”
Frank heard her although she spoke quietly. “Think what?” he asked, stroking her hair.
“Nothing,” she sobbed.
“It’s nothing. Leave it.”
“It’s not nothing. Tell me.”
“I just don’t want this to be happening again! It just brought up an old thought. Just leave it!” she cried, continuing to flinch in Frank’s arms whenever a crash was made on her bedroom door.
“The thought that you made me promise never to think again.”
Frank felt his heart sink, “Don’t ever fucking think that. Just think of…the park.”
“Yeah. Just think about that day.”
Eve closed her eyes and thought back. That was quite possibly the best day of her life. She remembered the slide, sharing old memories, but she focused on remembering the tree. Despite the current drama, she managed to give a small smile. Ever since they went there that day, she had wanted to relive it over and over again. Frank felt a small sense of relief when he felt Eve’s shaking cease a little. Her crying had quietened down a little as well and he smiled to himself knowing that something he said had actually helped. The two of them remained this way for a while until Eve had almost fallen asleep. Her father had continued to bang and bash on the door, but Frank was both surprised and relieved when he stopped and soon heard footsteps going down the stairs.
“Eve?” he whispered.
“Mm?” she stirred.
“He has?” she asked, rubbing her eyes and standing up.
Frank stood up as well, “Yeah. Do you reckon we can go down?”
Eve’s fear returned when he asked her that question. She had no idea what to expect this time, “Uh. I don’t know. I guess we should. What other choice do we have?”
“True,” Frank agreed.
He saw the nervousness etched over Eve’s face and immediately grabbed her hand. She looked up and gave him a small smile before taking a deep breath and making her way to the door. She turned the handle slowly and opened the door even more slowly. Eve walked down the hallway to the top of the stairs being sure that Frank was right beside her the whole time. They both shared eye contact and Frank gave her an small encouraging smile as she began walking down the stairs.
When they reached the last step, Eve quickly scanned the area, looking for her father. She turned to Frank, giving him a questioning look. He shrugged in response, knowing no more than she did. Eve took a second and panicked when she thought of the possibility that her father had left the house, but that was quickly erased when she heard a sound from the kitchen. Frank tensed and she knew he heard it too. Eve didn’t think twice and she dropped his hand and walked quickly towards the kitchen. It took Frank a second to respond as he walked quickly after her.
“Eve,” he whispered. “Come back here. You don’t know if he’s snapped back or not yet!”
He grabbed her hand and yanked her backward and she turned to face him, “Frankie, there’s really only one way to find out, right?”
“I don’t want you to get hurt,” He replied, brushing her cheek with the side of his hand.
“How do you know?”
Frank shook his head, “No. We’re calling the doctors, right now. Before anything bad happens.”
“No!” Eve protested. “He might have gotten his memory back, Frankie, please. Just…let me try?”
Frank wanted to badly to tell her no. To call the doctors. To get things fixed, but the look he saw in her eyes made him give into her pleading. Eve gave him a thankful smile and she turned back to walk into the kitchen. Frank was right behind her, preparing to protect her whenever needed. She walked in the room and looked around, frowning when she saw no one was in there.
“I swear I heard something…” she said to herself.
“Me too.” Frank added. “One second. Stay here.” He let go of her hand and made his way into the dining room, checking to see if her father had come in there. He hadn’t. Frank was about to check the other rooms when he heard Eve in the kitchen.
“Dad, stop! Remember me! It's Eve!”
It only took that sentence for Frank and turn around and run as fast as his legs would take him back to the kitchen. He saw Eve standing about a meter away from her father. He still looked mad. A shimmer caught Frank’s eye and his blood ran cold when he saw the knife in her father’s hands. His mind flashed back to when Eve had told him how her mother died.
There was no way he was about to let this happen again. Not to Eve.
Her father lunged forward and Frank leaped into action, grabbing her shoulder and pulling her out of the knife’s aim. Her father groaned in anger. Eve was crying again and Frank held her face in his hands as they stood there. He was hoping that making her look in his eyes would calm her down, but forgot to keep moving away from the enraged man that was Eve‘s father.
Eve’s eyes suddenly grew wide and her breath hitched as her body started becoming limp in Frank’s arms. Frank was immediately confused before he looked behind Eve and saw her father with a now blood coated knife. He looked at Eve’s back where her father had stabbed her and saw the blood spreading through the back of her shirt. Frank’s breathing became uneven. He felt sick. He looked back at Eve’s father who was still in a fit of rage.
The eldest man raised the knife to attack Frank, but he grabbed a frying pan off the counter and used it to give Eve’s father a harsh blow to the head. He stumbled backwards before crashing to the floor, unconscious. Once Frank was sure he was knocked out, he returned to Eve’s side with tears brimming his eyes. He quickly got out his phone and called an ambulance. He felt only the slightest sense of relief when they said the ambulance would be there in five minutes.
“Frankie…” Eve whispered in a hoarse voice. She started to have some difficulty breathing, "H-Help me..."
Frank let out a sob whilst he kneeled next to her, squeezing her hand and stroking her face. “No, baby, it's okay. I called an ambulance. You're going to be alright. I love you."
Eve raised a shaky hand and brushed Frank’s cheek. She smiled at him through her pain, "C-Can't be like my mum, right? F-Fuck."
“No. Don’t say that. You’re gonna be okay. The ambulance is gonna be here soon. You’re gonna be okay, Eve,” Frank;s voice became overtaken by tears, “You have to be okay…”
“I love you,” Eve said as firmly as she could.
“I-I love you, Eve.” Frank replied, leaning down and kissing her softly. However, he jumped back when Eve coughed, and blood spurted onto their lips. He hastily wiped the blood of his and her lips, fighting back as many tears as he possibly could.
He pressed his forehead against hers, not daring to look anywhere else other than in her eyes. Eve did the exact same despite the fact that closing her eyes and letting the darkness consume her was very tempting. She was hanging on. She promised him. He kept whispering things to her, trying to get her to stay with him.
Frank noticed the shallow breathing of her chest and the fact that her face was growing paler by the second, but couldn’t think of a single thing to do. Blood was pooling around her, and her eyes were becoming unfocused.
He just let the silent tears fall and prayed to god the ambulance would be arriving soon. When he heard the sirens outside the house, he looked out the window and saw them coming. Frank gave a small smile of relief, but it quickly disappeared when he saw that Eve had let her eyes close. He quickly checked if she was still breathing, which she was, but the breathing wasn’t the kind of breathing you’d want to hear from anyone.
The ambulance doctors burst through the door and saw Frank and Eve together. Frank reluctantly stepped aside as he let the doctors do their job. Some of the other doctors also took care of Eve’s father while another doctor was asking Frank questions about what had happened.
He knew that the police were probably going to get involved, considering Eve had been stabbed. The thought made his eyes fill with tears again. Soon enough, the doctors had Eve on a stretcher and were taking her to the ambulance to get her to the hospital. She was still unconscious and Frank wasn’t going to leave her side for a second. He climbed in the back of the ambulance where they had put Eve. Frank decided that he’d deal with the police, her father and everything later.
Right now, he just needed to know that Eve would be okay.