Bridget sat on the park bench, her shoulders hunched and shaking. Her green eyes brimming with tears were covered by auburn and silver swirled curls. Shaking hands uncrumpled her only daughter’s letter; she had crumpled it, uncrumpled it, and read it so many times the words should be permanently emblazoned in her memory.
I love you. You know I do. But I can’t stay.
You don’t want the truth; you don’t want to hear me. I’ve gotta go.
Burt’s not my dad, and I don’t have to take it. If you don’t want me to mention the “a” word, let’s just say Burt has anger management issues and I don’t want to end up like Moses’ Egyptian.
I want to stay to protect my baby brothers. I definitely don’t want them to turn into Burt. But I’m afraid one of us will take the other out; you don’t need that.
I don’t know where I’m going. Miriam’s offered me her winter place in Phoenix, and John offered his place in Orlando.
Please follow my lead. Without me, you’ll be Burt’s target.
Thanks for the womb without a view! All my love always,
Tears still falling, Bridget smiled as she remembered Katy tall and loud. She crumpled the letter again, knowing the welt on Katy’s cheek would fade. For herself, there was truth, and there were truths she couldn’t handle. She continued to sit, stunned by fear, shock, and awe.