Mrs Golding twisted her wedding ring around her finger.
“I’m truly sorry. We really did everything we could for your husband.”
She nodded and pulled her cardigan tight around her shoulder, suddenly aware that the purple marks at the base of her neck were exposed.
“Can I call anyone for you?”
She shook her head rapidly. Waiting a few moments after the door to clicked shut behind the doctor, she hurried out of the relative’s room and to the exit. She spotted the kiosk just outside the hospital and walked over, her fingers still worrying at her ring. The cold stare of the vendor made her hesitate.
“20 Marlboro Lights please. And a lighter.”
Walking away without her change, she ripped open the packet, dropping the cellophane and foil onto the floor. Taking a drag on her first cigarette in over ten years, she closed her eyes as the smoke filled her lungs. As she exhaled, a smile played on her lips for the first time in almost as long.
She spat on her finger. Her wedding ring slipped off with ease with the extra lubrication and fell to the pavement as she walked to the bus stop.