Coping 

Eyes darted back and forth, like a hungry squirrel, she snatched the cookie off the ground and cramed it into her mouth. She relishes the moment until a devistating swallow marks the end of her salivary soothing. The guilt is overwheming and she starts down the hall. 

Finding a bathroom, she checks the stalls to make sure she is alone and proceeds to stroke the back of her throat with two wet fingers. With a cough and a gasp for air, cookie crumb vomit and whole noodles (leftovers she found at 6 am) flow out of her. Hitting the porcelain pool, water splashes back onto her face and hair, like a bullies spit.  

Exiting the stall, she glimpses her red conjunctivia in the mirror before jumping into action. Scrubbing her face and arms with wet soapy paper towels, she attempts to rid the bile stench. She wipes her hair the best she can and then ties the dirty mess on top of her head. When was the last time she showered?

“One last thing,” she thinks, “and then I can face them.”

Out of her coat pocket she takes a small bottle of stolen Adderall which she had previously crushed, just for this occasion. It keeps her alert, helps her focus, and suppresses her appetite. Sprinkling it on the dry porcelain sink, she grabs a straw from her other pocket, places it into a raw nostril and inhales the coarse powder. 

She hears footsteps and the bathroom door opens; simultaneously she drops the straw on the floor kicking it to the side and sweeps the remaining powder off the sink. She faces the sink to hide her red eyes.

“Doctor?” says the young nursing assistant. “They are ready for you.”

-LRose

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