Her leg ached, as it had for so many years when it rained but she didn’t mind because even though it had a gentle thud it reminded her of her escape.
He recognised her but the years had not been kind; how could they with so many lives crammed into one. She sat by the window, staring out at the rain rubbing her thigh. If he was honest, it was that and self-satisfied smirk on her face as she peered out the window that made her so recognisable to him, even though it had been decades since he last saw her.
“Suzette?” He asked as he stepped toward her table and sat down without invitation.
The mention of that name brought chills of fear into her old frame. That name was someone she had long ago left behind.
“I think you have the wrong person.” She stood, grabbing her walking stick intent on moving away from this harbinger of long forgotten recollections.
“Now, now, Suzette. We used to be good friends.”
She scanned the vaguely familiar face which was much too young to know her from her Suzette days.
“You aren’t old enough to have been Suzette’s friend.” She continued to move but he put up a hand to stop her.
“You used to babysit me in between Johns.”
A dawning realisation spread across her face. Here, here was the son of the man she had saved so many years ago.
“You took a bullet for my dad.”
She nodded before sitting down as she prepared to soak in the gratitude she was certain was about to come her way.
Instead, there was nothing but silence.
“How is your dad?”
He fixed her with a unforgiving stare. “In jail.”
An overwhelming sense of regret enveloped her. “Oh.”
“Oh?” He repeated.
That moment, when she’d taken a bullet for his dad, had turned her life around; she may have had entered the hospital as Suzette the hooker but she’d left as Susan. Susan had moved towns, stopped partying, and turned her life around to become someone quieter, wiser… safer.
“So, he kept on…” she couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence.
“You thought he’d turn his life around? No. He was pretty angry with you for leaving; apparently you could really bring in the bucks…”
She shuddered at the memory.
“…. Still he got someone to take your place. Do you want to know who?”
She shook her head.
Closing her eyes, she then asked, “Did your mother get away?”
“No. He ended up killing her because she couldn’t make as much as Suzette.”
Her eyes opened to see the young man in front of her holding a gun.
Staring at the barrel, she felt a calm descend upon her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think…”
“…No… you didn’t.”
He pulled the trigger.