"The last time you looked like this, Ricky had stormed out of the house and cleaned out your savings because you refused to abort Joey. What's that slimedog done to you now?"
"Not to me. This time, at least." She sighed and crossed her arms on the still-damp table surface, slouching in pure rebellion against the need to keep up appearances. How long could she stand tall, shoulders back, expression serene and voice calm, before she crumbled under the pressure? "I've tried to avoid listening, but everybody was talking at the restaurant today. I don't know if they would have said more if customers knew my last name, or if they would have been kind enough not to talk at all."
"Nobody from that church of his uncle's came in to lecture you on how it's all your fault, did they?" Iris snorted when Hope shook her head. "How'd you get so lucky?"
"They've given up on me. The last time anybody came into the restaurant, it was to order me to quit my job, that no good, submissive, pure-hearted Christian wife would dare work outside the home. Even if her husband did drink up all the money, so she had to work to feed and clothe her children. Even if -- especially if -- her husband left her. They seemed to think if I retreated back home and promised never to leave it except for shopping and church, Ricky would take me back."
"Take you back? Did you tell those self-righteous biddies you wouldn't take him back if he was the last man left on God's green earth?"