There were several emotions running through me all at once, but the one that I could feel the most was fear. My eyes looked up at Roc through the tears, and he roughly grabbed my arm, forcing a startled scream from my lips. Over in the corner, our daughter, Aaliyah, cowered in fear, tightly clutching her teddy bear.
“Mommy!” she screamed loudly, irritating her already angry father. “Mommy!”
“Mommy is going to be OK,” I said, forcing myself to smile at her. Roc’s grip tightened on my arm, but I ignored him, focusing on getting Aaliyah out of the room. “Just… go upstairs until mommy comes to get you, OK?”
Her large brown eyes moved back and forth between Roc and I as she tried to make up her mind. After a moment of deliberation, she sprinted out of the room, stomping up the stairs and to her bedroom.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Roc hissed. He grabbed my face, roughly turning my head so that I was looking into his eyes. His lips were twisted into an ugly sneer, and I whimpered loudly.
“I’m sorry,” I begged, trying to remove myself from his grip. “I’m sorry!”
His grip loosened for a moment, and I yanked myself free, sprinting towards the kitchen. I could hear him running after me, motivating me to move faster. As I stumbled into the kitchen I felt his finger latch onto my hair, and in an act of desperation, I grabbed one of the knives in our silverware container.
“Let me go!” I screamed, swinging the knife wildly. I heard him swear loudly when I slashed his arm, but he quickly recovered, smacking the weapon away from me. “Let me go!”
“Shut up!” he yelled.
My mouth clamped shut just in time for me to feel Roc’s hand hit me across the face. I squeezed my eyes shut in pain, but the sounds of my daughter screaming forced my eyes open.
Roc, surprised by her appearance, loosened his hold on me, and I launched myself out of his arms and towards Aaliyah. Roc yanked me back, pinning my arms down by my sides. I screamed out in frustration, earning myself another round of wailing form Aaliyah.
“Aaliyah, get out,” Roc hissed.
“Aaliyah!’ he screamed. He turned as if to hit her, and I tackled him to the ground, my finger fumbling for the knife. I grabbed the knife, ready to attack him, but he forced the weapon out of my hands.
“Don’t touch her,” I yelled, wrapping my fingers around his neck.
He flailed on the ground, struggling to free himself from my grip, but I held him tighter, praying that he would pass out. Just as I started to loosen my hold, I felt something sharp slash me in the side. I looked down in surprise, staring at the large gash that had formed in my side.
“Oh shit, (Y/N),” Roc crawled toward me, but I moved away. “(Y/N), I’m sorry.”
I lay down, breathing heavily. The pain in my side made me wince, and he pulled me over so that he was sitting beside me. I could feel his fingers, running through my hair, and behind us, I could hear Aaliyah’s cries. I stared up at Roc, wondering when we got this way and how long we had spent fighting like this. He started to say something but it was too late, I was already succumbing to the darkness.