On the living room couch, Carol shivered against the cooling touch of Therese’s index finger rubbing the pink strip of tissue above her right ankle. The wound had healed years ago and became a significant scar, but it was a new discovery she never took notice before.
“How did this happen?”
“Harge did it with a broken wine bottle glass,” Carol answered, flicking cigarette ash with her thumbnail. “It happened weeks after Rindy was born. We came home from dinner one night, arguing about my sexuality when our housekeeper, Florence, approached us with the baby in her arms...”
“Mr. and Mrs. Aird, will you please lower your voices?” Florence speaks to the unhappily married couple in a harsh whisper. “I’ve just put the baby to sleep!”
“Let me hold her,” Carol tells her softly, bare arms outstretched. She takes the white crocheted knitted bundle of blankets that secure her infant daughter. Gushing over her light hair, tiny eyelashes, and curled fingers, Carol tugs back the blanket with a finger and leans down to kiss Rindy’s forehead.
“Thank you, Florence,” Harge says, loosening up his necktie. He storms upstairs with a half empty bottle of red wine in one hand with a tired, disheveled looking complexion.
“Has she been good? Has she been a good little girl?” Carol speaks to the sleeping baby in a high, airy tone of voice.
“Perfect,” Florence answers her. She reaches for the baby as soon as Carol hands her back.
“Goodnight, Florence.” Carol leaves for the staircase. She goes up the steps carefully and not as quickly as Harge. She finds her husband draining the last few sips of the wine inside their bedroom before letting out a grotesque burp.
“Honestly, Harge,” Carol scolds him, removing one high heel off one nylon foot. She slips off the other one and drops it on the carpet floor with a soft thud.
“Tell me you love me,” Harge grumbles, gripping tightly to the neck of the glass bottle. “I want to hear you say it.”
“Harge, I’m tired,” Carol responds with a bitter sigh, unclasping her necklace with both hands. She then hears him smash the wine bottle on the vanity mirror table. The sound of broken glass frightens her. “Are you crazy? What do you think you’re—”
That’s when he lunges for her. He grips her by the wrists and throws her down on the bed. Carol cries out and kicks him right in the gut. Harge doubles over with the top half of the bottle still in his hand. Blinded with rage, he goes right for her again and stabs her with the jagged edges of glass.
“I thought for sure he was going to kill me, but when he saw the blood, he panicked and soon realized what he done,” Carol concluded the story, placing her cigarette back between her lips.
“Carol, that’s awful. I’m sorry you had to go through with that,” Therese murmured, paying no attention to the plate of apple pie she was eating for dessert.
“It’s over and done with,” Carol shrugged. She blew out smoke with Therese leaning over to kiss the bare skin of her foot. Right on the pink scar tissue marked just above her ankle.