Kane turned to leave again when her door creaked. He looked into the darkness, her diminutive, round form cloaked in shadow. She stepped forward, wearing a pink sweatshirt and pajama pants decorated with little Scottish Terriers, and smiled, the muscles in her jaw pulling the flesh upward, turning the scar tissue on her neck white. She looked so innocent, like a ten-year-old awoken from a bad dream, but the scar showed the cost she’d paid to survive forty-nine hard years.
She and her husband were high school sweethearts. She had her first child at 19, two years later her husband went to Vietnam. He did two tours and came back changed.
Her husband strangled her with a belt while beating her and damaged her voice box. She left her husband and children, went to a halfway house, but she was already an alcoholic, as was her husband. She was kicked out of the halfway house when she came back drunk, and she found herself on the street.
Molly sat on the couch, staring out the side window at parked cars and trees. She wore her platinum hair cropped short and molded around her face like an old-fashioned cartoon character, painted with a single stroke of a thick brush. Her gray eyes, once a deep blue, had faded with time and distance, but her skin, despite years of abuse, remained unblemished, smooth as the driven snow.