The train roars down the track, jerking as it turns a corner, jerking back again. The lights flicker. Brakes squeal. A woman gazes at a dirty heart carved in the wall, at the initials knifed inside. She leans her head against the window, lets herself drift back inside the small hotel room she’s just left, clinging to the carved heart of the afternoon. The train squeals to a stop, snow slides through the freezing night. The moon hangs low between two buildings as she walks into the penance of her life:


"She looks behind him at the door popped back open by the wind. It stands ajar. She stops. Panic sends a chill along her spine beneath her heavy sweater, beneath the quilt that used to lie across the bed she shares with Samuel. She feels as if she’s sliding, plummeting, that there is no one anywhere to catch her. And then she remembers staring through the snow at Joe’s wrecked Audi, the clumps of people pointing, shouting, as she took small steps back toward the car. There was something different then from the way she’d left it only a moment or two before, but at the time she couldn’t put her finger on what it was. And now she can."  –The Other Widow


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