She stood in the upstairs bedroom resting her forehead on the metal screen looking down the road for any signs of life, she found none. Glancing over to her bed, Alice had once again snuck in and taken up residence with her favorite doll. She had been such a tiny baby and had spent her first nights sleeping in the open bottom dresser drawer lined with blankets, a makeshift bassinet. Before leaving the room she knelt by the side of the bed, drinking in every single thing about her precious daughter. Alice, living proof of what she and Francis had shared in the darkest hours of night. It had been 6 months since his last letter had arrived. Was an envelope with a bit of cash wrapped in a blank piece of paper even considered a letter? The moon was full and low as she approached the mailbox at the end of the driveway. The tattered hem of her threadbare dressing gown gently brushed her ankles as did the new crop of spring weeds. Writing this last letter she realized she had been woman enough to be swept off her feet by a handsome man but young enough to not understand a thing about him. He was moody and unpredictable. She was tired, alone, abandoned and mad. Tonight she had found her voice and if the letter found Francis, he would hear her loud and clear. She whispered into the cool night, “Goodbye Francis.” Slamming the mailbox shut and raising the rusty red flag her first step to starting over.