The weak morning sun peered through the few remaining leaves clinging to the branches of the ancient elms lining the road as Meghan Winters stepped out of the receptionfoyer where she worked. Her breath misted in the frigid air as she glanced up and down thestreet, flinching whenever a passer-by caught her eye. Despite the frigid temperature, a trickleof sweat dripped down between her shoulder blades, soaking into the crimson silk blouse. She turned right and, hunching her shoulders, strode along the footpath to her car, her keysalready grasped in her sweaty palm, unaware of the pain radiating from her hand as one of thekeys dug into skin drawing a spot of blood. Meghan’s heels clicked like gunshots on theuneven pavement, which drew unwanted attention as she walked. On any normal day, she would have held her head high, basking in the jealous glancesfrom the women, and lust-filled stares of the men. She took pride in their looks, worked hardto earn them, both in the gym and on her husband’s Visa. By no stretch of the imagination was today normal, not since she opened her mail. The morning had started as the one previous day, and the one before that. Dylan andThomas were up, breakfasted, dressed, bags packed for school, lunches made and out the door on time. They knew better than to drag their heels, the repercussions were simply not worth it.On the way out Meghan grabbed the mail from the postman as he trudged up the path to her door. She sniffed loudly as he gave her a weak smile, and strode on by to her car, ignoring hisstunned expression. During lunch, she sat behind the glass-topped desk in her corner office, a fresh cappuccinosteaming next to the keyboard, as she sorted through her mail. That’s when she saw theenvelope. There wasn’t anything unusual about it, a normal, brown envelope with her name andaddress printed clearly on a white sticker. Unconcerned, she pulled out the letter and read theopening message. That’s when her world collapsed around her. Her phone trilled loudly beside her, but Meghan didn’t notice, her eyes kept scanning across the words on the page,each sentence driving a stake through her chest. Meghan couldn’t breathe, she had get out into the fresh air, she had to get home. Shefumbled for her handbag, for once ignoring the feel of the luxurious Italian calfskin leather.