Penny likes to be bent over my desk. When I first met her, she was a fearful thing who had no idea how to carry herself, or where she belonged. After six months with me, she walks with her head high, with a bounce in her step and a smile on her face. There’s still something off about her, though.

She wears a wedding band around her finger, but I can tell every time I’m near her that it bites into her like a too-tight rubber band, like a string tied around her finger meant to remind her of some crucial Thing She Must Not Forget, but instead, is making that part of her swell and turn black, like a body that couldn’t breathe, and one day just gave up. I expect her to lose a finger in her sleep, but maybe she takes it off right before she puts on her beauty creams, gives him a kiss on the cheek, and cries herself to sleep.

Talk back to me. Trust me; I'm listening.

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