Ron Pattersen peeked out the window when he heard a loud crash and a female voice yelling. When he saw Kelly Haug, his next door neighbor, he let the blind slat slide back into place and rolled his eyes. Kelly, again, I don't know how Nathan tolerates her, even when she's sober. Nathan, Kelly's husband, worked with Ron at the nuclear plant; he was a quiet, hard working man. So different from his wife. Ron shook his head and grabbed his briefcase. Outside, Ron found Nathan gathering spilled trash and tossing it back in the garbage can.
"Is everything okay?" Ron asked as he picked up an empty glass bottle.
"Yeah, everything's fine." Nathan ducked his head as he spoke, refusing to meet Ron's eyes.
Why doesn't he just leave her? Ron kept his thoughts to himself while they finished cleaning up and then the two of them left for work in Ron's car.
An hour later, Kelly stood at the Pattersen's door, knocking quietly. She rubbed her hands together nervously as she waited. When Pauline, Ron's wife, opened the door, she greeted her neighbor with a smile and invited her in.
Kelly brushed at her graying hair and sighed as she sank onto the sofa. Pauline sat beside her, putting one arm around her shoulders.
"I don't know why he stays with me." Kelly twisted her hands and bit on her lip.
"Because he sees what you can be." Pauline replied. "Keep trying, Kell, you'll get it right. How many days did you go this time?"
Kelly smiled, pride lighting her face, proving that she could still be beautiful. "Ten. I made it ten!"
"Then don't you give up. I know Nathan is there for you. Do it for both of you; you can beat this!"
"Thank you, Pauline, it really helps to know you're here for me."