I upgraded my life in a short amount of time. I went from working part-time as a waitress and part-time as a background extra in TV and living in a dirty, cramped environment, to working full-time with a job that gave me certifiable future skills and let me live in a lush dream of fresh air and freedom. There is no other way to put it other than to say the change was simply good for my soul.

The chalky clatter of pills and plastic in her purse that might otherwise have camouflaged itself as white noise was, for him, a screaming rattle.