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The Pills

She held the pills in one hand, and a glass of water in the other. She contemplated the pain, not hers, but her mother’s and friends. Was it worth everything? In her mind, she knew it was a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but he heart told her there was no escape from this problem. What would her mom’s face look like when she found her daughter lying on the floor, as if asleep, but wouldn’t wake no matter what? At school, how would they break the news? Over the intercom like they had done when Jimmy Dolstein crashed his car driving drunk?-or each teacher telling the students individually, like they had done when Peter the exchange student cut his wrists and bled out in his host family’s bathtub? Steadying her breath, she tipped the pills into her hand and began to swallow them with water. The doorbell rang, and she thought about not getting up, letting it just ring on, and letting the other person give up. It rang again, more insistent. Quickly, she spat out the pills into another cup on the side of the sink and went to answer the door.

“Hey, how are you doing? I heard about, you know, the break-up,” said the boy from her algebra class bashfully. “You two were together for two years, right? I’m sorry to hear he was cheating on you.” She just stared at him, doubting he really knew what was going on.

“I just thought you might want some help with the homework, I noticed you were having trouble with it yesterday,” he offered. She nodded, hoping he would go away as soon as they were finished. He followed her into the house and set his things down on the kitchen table.

“Why don’t you get your things, and if you don’t mind, can I use the bathroom?” he asked. She nodded numbly and went to pick up her things. When she got back, she found him staring at the pills.

“You weren’t really going to do it, were you? You know just how many people’s lives would be made worse?” he almost shouted at her. “You are important, and you are loved, never forget that. Even though your boyfriend will no longer tell you that, everyone else will, please, just talk to me.” Hearing his concern though his voice and hearing she was loved made her break down, and as she sobbed out everything to his sympathetic ear, he held her close. When she had cried out all her tears, he hugged her one last time.

“You are loved, never forget that. Call me whenever you need to talk, okay?” She nodded, and he smiled at her.

“Shall we do some math now?”



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