The purse was purple suede. Sensuous. Aesthetically pleasing. Large enough for notes, coins, keys and keepsakes. Small enough to fit in her handmade macrame bag. She loved that purse. It contained all that mattered to her: a gold cross (no chain), a medal of Mary the Immaculate blessed by the parish priest and given to her by her Catholic granny, a few coins. Coins hidden, saved, forbidden. No keys. He had the only one.
She carried the purse with her. Got it out on buses for her allocated pennies. The fare to work and back. Or almost. She had to walk part of the way to save money. She didn’t mind. Much. He didn’t need bus fare.
The purse pretended with her. It was a fine item. It looked like it would have plenty in it. Enough to eat, to ride on buses, to go wherever she wanted. In her fantasies she and her beautiful purse led a life of comfort, freedom and security. Eventually he stopped giving her any money at all. She could only travel with him.
“You don’t need money when you’re with me,” he claimed. “I’ll look after you always.”
She had to ask him for everything because he liked it that way. He gave or didn’t give as he saw fit. Once he’d given her gifts. A store voucher with which she’d bought her perfect purple purse.
She left it behind with him.