Isaac was on your doorstep with tears in his eyes and bruises on his face.
“Isaac?” You asked taking his hand in your own, pulling him inside you shut your door and made sure to lock it, afraid of anyone who could hurt Isaac.
“Are you okay?” You asked, lightly feeling his swollen and bruised cheekbone.
“No.” Isaac whispered into your hand.
“I’ll make you tea.” You said, taking his hand into the kitchen. The sounds of you opening the cabinet, grabbing a mug, and closing it echoed around the silent kitchen. You turned the burner on and put the kettle over the open fire.
“Isaac,” You stared leaning against the counter looking at his bruised, battered and broken body. He looked small painted in black and blues, helpless covered in his own blood. Reduced to his injuries standing by himself in my kitchen.
“Please don’t ask me.” He begged, his voice ruptured, in the valley between crying and whispering like he couldn’t muster the courage to wail, or the strength to pretend to be strong.
“Why would he do that?” You cried. The tears slowly falling from your eyes. Isaac looked at worn hard wood floors, biting his already swollen and bloodied lip. His bottom lip trembled but he looked up his eyes mournful.
“I shouldn’t have come. I shouldn’t have put you in this position, it’s unfair to you, and it’s dangerous because my dad is probably looking for me and will be here any minute-” Isaac rambled anxiously rubbing his hands together and swinging his left foot back and forth.
“Isaac.” You interrupted him. “Please come.” You whispered walking up to him. “When you’re scared come to me please. I want to help you.” You were on the verge of tears, but one of you needed to stay strong. Isaac enveloped you in a tight hug. You pressed your face against his worn cotton tee shirt and you could smell the mix of his laundry detergent, blood, soap, and deodorant.
You hugged him tighter and kept the tears a bay. Isaac let go of you when the tea kettle began to whistle. You poured him a cup and put some chamomile tea in it.
You both walked up into your room while he drank his tea.
“Will you stay with me?” You asked as he stared out your window across the street to his house, where the light was still on in his bedroom window. You looked around your bedroom and couldn’t help feel at home and safe. Had Isaac ever felt that way?
“I don’t know.” Isaac whispered.
“You can’t go home. He’ll hurt you.” You said, rubbing circles on his palm, standing as close as you could.
“I can’t stay here forever.” Isaac said.
“At least until my parents get home from their anniversary trip this Saturday.” You asked him.
“I don’t want to burden you.” He mumbled.
“You won’t be.”
Isaac finished his tea, and you showed Isaac to the guest bedroom.
Halfway through the night you heard gasping and strangled cries. You leaped out of your bed to find Isaac tangled in the sheets whimpering. You gently shook him.
“Isaac, Isaac you’re going to be okay.” You whispered to him. His eyes shot open and he relaxed, you put your arms around his chest and you both fell asleep.