Roslyn drew a long drag from a half burnt cigarette. It was her last, last one. She knew it, even saw her self throw the pack out of the window of the train. Yet, as the ashes edged closer to her lips, she found herself rummaging through the grey trench coat’s pockets searching for what was already gone.
She was on her own now, the only memory of a sheltered life was the coat she wore. It wasn’t even hers. She got it from a dying man named Clancy. Clancy’s height made the jacket drape over Roslyn’s slender frame. He was a kind enough man, and his only fault was loving the wrong woman.
“Ma’am if you want to smoke you can do so in the cars, you shouldn’t be lingering between cars.” the porter said.
“Oh sorry.” She inhaled deeply the last of that nicotine high and tossed the but to the tracks.
The middle space between cars, allowed her to hide and be alone with her thoughts. She couldn’t stop thinking about what Clancy had done. It was fresh. She boarded the train at ten and saw him for the last time at nine. A single tear streamed down her porcelain skin.
The tear dripped down to the jacket. She wiped it away and bundled herself tighter in the coat. The collar hung loosely across her bruised neck.
A yellow contusion edged purple outlines where Victor dug his finger’s deep into Roslyn’s neck. This was the final time she would let him do that to her. Her suitcase was filled with stolen illicit money. Robbing someone who robs others.
She knew it was wrong, she didn’t care. There was a time when she did, that was a long distant memory of a simpler Roslyn. A younger Roslyn who thought that hard work and talent would reward her. Then the rent came due, the bills never relented and she found herself under Victor’s control.
That was over a year ago. Yes, she knew Victor had a temper, especially towards the thugs he employed, but she thought she was safe. Diamonds and pearls can connive anyone into a refuge that becomes a prison. When the world went black from Victor choking her, she knew she had to escape. That’s when Clancy, showed up, the damned fool.
He always looked for Roslyn whenever he walked into the club. He loved the way her jet black hair danced upon her delicate shoulders when she sang. In his mind the songs she sang, she only sang for him. Her ruby red lips entranced him to listen. Her satin smooth voice paralyzed him to watch her night after night. He was a regular at the club, but no one there even knew his name.
His usual order was club soda with a twist of lemon. He tipped generously, but never spoke. As the evenings came and went he never lost his desire to get close to Rosalyn. He set out to fix that. The night everything changed, he ordered a scotch neat and sipped it slow as Roslyn sang. She closed with Clancy’s Favorite song. She didn’t know it was his favorite, but Clancy adopted it, after hearing her sing it. She blew a kiss to the audience. The whisky had him feeling giddy and he reached out to catch it.
The club was dark and small enough to slip through to the more private areas reserved for staff. Clancy heard a loud argument down the hall way and a loud crash. He froze where he was, hiding in the shadows. A man slammed the door, and left the office. After he had left, Clancy walked down to see what the fuss was. The office was a mess. Papers thrown in disordered chaos. Behind the desk, Roslyn’s legs sprawled out.
“Oh Christ!” Clancy yelled and gasped his mouth.
He rushed over and saw her and the marks left after someone tries to strangulate.
“Roslyn wake up!” he pleaded.
Her consciousness was awarded with tear filled eyes, and panic. She flailed against Clancy.
“It’s alright! I am not going to hurt you! I love you!” He spoke to calm her down.
She pushed herself away from him and collected herself.
“Who the hell are you?!” She asked.
“I am Clancy, I watch you sing every night.” He answered.
“I’ve got to get the hell out of here!” She was busy stuffing gobs of money into her bra.
“Take my jacket.” Clancy said.