For all of the new-fangled technology Dr. Meriwether had drilled, hammered and welded into her flesh, Molly still found herself subject to abjectly human phenomena; for example, as soon as she let herself into her bedroom in the town house, she lunged for the her chamber pot and spilled the contents of her stomach - mostly acid, Mr. Splendid's tea, and whatever was left from her meager lunch. Shaking and with drool streaking her chin, she clambered to her feet minutes later, praying that Miss Hiddlestone nor (especially) Warren would find out about her anguish-induced ailments.
She used the bedpost to guide herself into bed, sniveling and hiccuping softly. The lawyer's words pounded against the bones of her skull, crippling her insides and making her feel as though a pair of long, spindly hands had her in their grasp and were attempting to pull her down, down, deep into the earth and out of sight.
A golden framed looking glass lay on the table next to her bed. Molly reached for it. Its frame and handle were carved from whalebone, adorned with tiny ribbons and swallows. Dr. Meriwether had given to her when they first met, claiming it was the only thing he could claim to belong to her. The glass had been shattered in the accident, but he had fitted a new pane into the cream frame and presented it to her as soon as she'd woken up in his laboratory. The first reflection she had seen of her copper-ridden face and the glistening green stone embedded behind a glass ball in her eye socket. She had begun to cry.
"Why are you crying?" the doctor had asked.
"I'm so ugly," Molly had cried; her first words.
"No, no, no, my dear." The doctor had taken her in his arms then, and held her so warmly. "You're the most beautiful and the most important girl in the history of the world." And she had stopped crying.
Molly tossed the mirror across her bedroom floor. It skidded across the polished hardwood, the silver glass shattering into four almost identical segments as it crashed against the wall.
He had lied. She realised it now. Not only had he lied in his words, but he'd also lied in his actions, by letting her believe that she was important. She didn't want to be the most important girl in history, as he'd said; that was irrelevant. But she wanted to be important to him. And up until that moment in Mr. Splendid's office, she had believed she was.
"My esteem, and my best wishes."
Those were the exact words written in the Will,
Molly stumbled from her bed and scrambled after the mirror, pulling a shard loose from the frame and holding onto it tightly.
"There's nothing left to do but end it," she whispered into her fragmented reflection. "I shouldn't even be here. I was never meant to be...." The glass trembled in her grip. How easy it would be, to slice her wrists, or her throat, and be done with it. Her insides wrenched, but having already vomited extensively, Molly avoided retching again.
No. She couldn't leave such a mess here, for Warren and Miss Hiddlestone to stumble across. Not in the doctor's house, soiling his memory and - literally - staining his legacy.
A spark ignited in Molly's brain, and she snapped into action. Her heart was heavy and her body riddled with fear and dread, but having a plan helped her to steady her nerves. She would die poetically, not in a pool of snot and blood and vomit.
Downstairs, her inebriated foster brother was starting to dose off in his father's plush burgundy armchair, which he had dragged into position in front of the roaring fire. The alcohol and the comfort and the silence had crushed his anxieties to a pulp, leaving only slumber in their place. By the time his chin hit his chest and his glass hit the floor, Molly had slipped out of the house.