For Molly it was a hard and bitter pill to swallow, so she took a swig of Corona Light and began to write the weekly letter to Esther so that her mother would continue to send her that extra money. The magical foster care check was not enough. Her words flowed better too with the beer, and two more bottles sealed the deal, as she tapped onto her laptop, filling the screen and marveling at how easy it was after all.
“Just so you know, I have Nugent, the foster care kid still living with me.” She wrote this and then highlighted and cut it off the screen, weighing whether Esther would find it a sign of responsible adulthood that the boy lived with her, or whether her mother’s repugnance for his half-Mexican, half-black heritage outweighed the fact that the State of California bore proof to Molly’s ability to care for a ten year old.
In the final analysis, she pasted the sentence back in its original spot and tapped on. The first beer was guzzled before she knew it, so she took a cigarette break and opened another, this bottle colder than the last because she placed them in the freezer to speed up the process. Molly cut a thin wedge of lime and squeezed the juice as best she could into the bottle before plunking the lime through the narrow neck. She blew a stream of smoke, and the cold breeze at the window pulled the smoke out of the room and into the night air to be mingled with the smells of Magnolia Boulevard, which had its share of Mexican salsas and roasted Island jerked chicken.
Molly didn’t think too often about it, but tonight as she paused to consider what to say to Esther to appease her so she’d send the small stipend that kept her daughter’s roof over her head, she herself wondered what a white Jewish girl was doing in the ’hood.
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