Moisture pooled in the corners of her eyes, Allie ascending the stairs after a day of vomit and blood at St. Luke's She heard the drops land on the paper bag, a rough dry sound, dark spots on the brown bags. Could she reach the top of the third flight?
Stepping in the apartment, she felt not at home. The atmosphere had grown unfamiliar, family items missing. The colored balls and blocks of the two boys were absent on the beige carpet of the family room, pajamas from the morning change now gone. She smelt soap.
It was not in his nature to clean.
Groceries fell to the floor and Allie slumped, legs folding forward, head hurling toward the kitchen tile. She heard the red word, "asshole" echoing from a table set with scrambled eggs and toast, the last word she spoke to him. The last word the two boys heard from their mother.