K Hanna Korossy
She'd never gotten mail at the bar. Even the few things she received at the dump she called her apartment were all junk mail or bills. Never a handwritten envelope like this, addressed just to "Anne-Marie at the Black Spur" in solid block letters.
"You gonna open it?" Daryl asked from the other side of the bar, peering over her shoulder with undisguised curiosity.
"Never you mind," she said pleasantly, turning away with the envelope clutched in both hands.
They were still getting ready for opening; she could steal a few minutes. Sofia had just cleaned the ladies' room, so Anne-Marie locked herself in a stall and took a seat. She stared at the envelope a moment more—did the postmark say Kansas?—before finally huffing and tearing it open with her nail.
It held a single sheet of folded paper…and five bills tucked inside it. Hundreds, her breath caught as she fanned them out. Five hundred dollars? What the…?
There wasn't much writing on the paper, just a few short lines:
Family got me some help—I'm doing better now. Sorry I was such an ass to you, you didn't deserve it. Don't let me or anybody else tell you different.
Money's part of the apology. Maybe use it for that new life you wanted.
Dean. Dean? Don't-get-too-attached, sleeps-with-every-skank Dean? She'd written him off as one more bad choice before he was even out the door. Anne-Marie shook her head in disbelief at the proof to the contrary in her hand.
She folded the cash and tucked it deep in her bra where she'd feel it all night. But she hesitated over the letter. Money from a guy she slept with normally would have stung. The bigger the tip, the bigger the whore, right? But the apology with it somehow made all the difference.
Anne-Marie carefully slipped the note into her back pocket so it wouldn't wrinkle. In it's own way, it meant even more than the cash. One would give her a chance at doing something with her life, but the other said what she was already doing wasn't wasted.
Chin up and with a real smile that felt strange but good, Anne-Marie went back to work.