10C. Orange Yellow

A week later they meet. "Rose!" he limps over and tries to hug her. She flinches. She's still got poultices criss-crossing her back--slippery elm bark, lobelia and goldenseal. The pus, lanced, comes out a sickly orange-yellow. "Baby I'm sorry-"

She slaps him.

For a moment his eyes flash, and she sees his father-hand twitch. Something terrible moving in him, then stilling. "I-I wish you hadn't done that."

She slaps him again.

He grabs her wrist. "Stop that! I said I was sorry! Let's talk about this like adults!"
"I can't believe you did that to me!" She swings at him with her other arm. He grabs it. She pulls, but he holds her. For that moment, the greatest cruelty in all the world is his strength. "You didn't tell me! You just let me take it like a fucking guinea pig!"
"Hey come on now," he says, smiling nervously, "I'm sure it couldn't have been that bad."
"I haven't been to work in a week! I have to sleep on my stomach! Ask me! No, go ahead!" she says, finally tearing her hands away from him. "Ask me why!"

And for a moment she almost breaks down, sniveling like a little kid, before she pulls it together. "I have scars, Scott." She wants to scream at him that he doesn't understand, that he never understood, that he couldn't ever understand. Instead, she draws a shuddering breath and ends it. "I don't want to ever see you again."