As she stumbled out into the rain, lightning cast the blooming trees into high relief. Within moments she was soaked through her torn t-shirt, her hastily thrown-on slides finding no purchase on the ground.

He slams her against the wall, her head catching the corner of a picture frame. "No, please," she begs. His breath smells of cheap alcohol. The look in his eyes scares her; he had never appeared so wild or frightening before. She had never seen him like this.

She slipped, her ankle twisting in the muddy grass. She made no move to stand up again, simply laid staring at the sky. Her face was wet; she could neither tell nor care whether it was from her tears or the rain.

The door opens suddenly. He walks in, startling her; she tells him so with a slight laugh. He doesn't acknowledge her, just shuts the door behind him. He saunters toward her, staring at her from beneath his mussed bangs. His eyes, oh, God, his eyes...

God, how could she be so stupid? How could she have let him do this? The lightning flashed again, the thunder close behind it. The fierce illumination was even brighter than it had been seconds before, and the drops pelted her with stinging intensity.

Clutching the bannister, she feels his hands close around her ankle. She screams involuntarily, kicking as he drags her back down the stairs. "Why are you doing this?" she cries as he grabs her roughly by the shoulders.

She idly reached a hand toward her face, feeling a numbness as though her hand were asleep, or like it was someone else's face she touched. Her fingers traced the angry lump forming on her temple, the cut on her opposite cheek, the nail marks on her arms.

"I really don't think you should hang out with him," her friend states with worried eyes. "I don't trust him. Even if you are just friends," her friend adds over her objections. "He's not good for you. Don't trust him."

The rain abated slightly, the thunder booming a little softer. She wiped her glasses with a finger as a reflex, not really caring all that much. The frames were bent at an odd angle, hanging off one ear. She took them off and tried to bend them back.

"No! Stop! You're hurting me!" She tries to push him off of the couch, but he pins her down. She struggles and thrusts a knee in his stomach; she takes advantage of the several seconds she has as he groans and rolls onto the floor. She runs to the stairs.

The rain cleansed her wounds, washing the fresh blood off of her skirt and top and battered skin. She hugged her arms to her chest, barely noticing the pain of her shoulder. She felt oh, so dirty...

She finally fights him off, but too late. Sobbing, she grabs a knocked-over table lamp and swings it sideways at him with all her strength. In his compromised state he grunts, taken off guard. "I hate you," she whispers through her tears.

She closed her eyes and rolled over on her side, drawing her knees to her chest. Her wet hair slithered down her neck and shoulder, mingling with the blades of grass.

"No one's here," he murmurs as he advances toward the couch. "No one to hear you, no matter how loudly you scream." She feels her face drain of all its blood. "What are you- don't come any closer!" she stammers, scrambling towards the far end of the couch.

She tasted the rainwater mingling with the salt of her blood and tears. The scratch on her cheek was still bleeding freely, and the blood trickling down in the rain, diluted. She squeezed her eyes shut tighter. No more memories, please, please.

"I hate you!" she shouts, throwing the lamp at him as he staggers backwards. She picks up the brass umbrella stand, bringing it down on the back of his head. He falls to his knees, then to the wooden floor, blood seeping from the back of his head. She runs.

She rolled over again on her back as the rain returned in full force, the droplets once more pelting her skin like so many tiny pebbles. She swallowed, staring at the night sky as another crack of lightning fractures it.