It had been the worst year of her life. She couldn’t even remember when the good ended and the bad started. Everything seemed to just roll into one long period of time. Thankfully, those little white pills just made everything nothing.
It made her forget about the cold draft that filled her new apartment. It was new to her since, maybe May. When had she met Jon? It must have been warm outside because she remembered sunshine coming in through the window after the first night she stayed over. Did the sun shine during the winter? When was the last time she had been outside?
She covered her face a little more with the army jacket that was now serving as her only source of warmth. Even the well-worn red couch seemed to breath cold air onto her. She wondered if another pill would warm her up quicker. She couldn’t. She didn’t have many left and even less money to obtain more.
Money wasn’t a problem for her last year. She had a job that paid well, but she hated the cubicles and wired connection to customers who were always right. Every day, she went through the motions, eating cake to celebrate birthdays, gossiping about new coworkers. She hated how normal everything felt. It always seemed predictable. But she had money and insurance. She had a comfy home. She had more than she ever needed.
Now she had no one. Jon had left a couple nights ago. Maybe a couple months ago. He was supposed to be back soon. Maybe he wasn’t. She really couldn’t remember. Did he say anything before he left? At least she was able to stay with him after the bank foreclosed on her home. He had been so kind to her. Took her in when she first ended up on the streets. Showed her how to get food, how to fight, how to survive. He would be back. He always was. Had he ever left before? She again wasn’t sure.
She shifted a little more to attempt and cover her bare feet with a sleeve of the jacket. Her body was just small enough to roll up entirely on one cushion. Yet it seemed a little too big to be covered by the oversized jacket. She pushed her face completely under the jacket and tried to blow some hot air on her hands. After each blow she rubbed them together for a couple of seconds. With each movement, the jacket shifted, exposing a new part of her body to the air. She needed to stop. Thankfully, she was getting sleepy.
While she wrapped her long fingers around each elbow, she brushed both sets of her ribs. When did she get so skinny? She had never been a large person. But she did have extra cushioning. Especially in her arms and legs. Before. Now it seemed she was all bones. She could use some warmer clothing. She knew there was nothing else in the apartment. How many rooms are in this place anyway?
She was in the living room, which contained the couch she was currently occupying. She could see the front door from her location. She was pretty sure there was a kitchen behind her. She used to love to cook. What was that meal she made all the time? Penne. She would use garlic in a white sauce. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it always made her feel fancy. The first time she ever made it, she burned the sauce and almost disintegrated the noodles. Each time after that it got better.
When had she made that last? Actually…when had she eaten last? While her stomach growled, she curled up harder knowing there was nothing to eat. She contemplated another pill again. But again, decided against it.
Her eyes opened when she thought she heard someone laughing. Maybe they were yelling. As she stared at one spot waiting for the noise to happen again, she contemplated if she had even heard it in the first place. Everything seemed so quiet now. Was this place always this quiet? She thought about the nights she would stare outside the window watching the snow slowly silence everything. Maybe that was happening now. She closed her eyes as she pictured flakes of snow piling up on tree branches.
The sensation of hungry finally started to go away. She was able to breath a little easier. She was pretty sure it had started getting warmer as well. She remembered this feeling; the first time she felt it at the hospital. She had just woken up from the surgery. Still a little groggy, she was happy to finally be awake. Until the pain reliever started wearing off. She felt every muscle in her back start to spasm. She screamed until someone came in. They gave her the first pill and then another one. It was the second one that brought on the warmth.
She smiled at the memory. Usually after the warmth comes the lightness, but that feeling didn’t seem to be come coming at all. Maybe she did need that next pill. Yes, it was definitely time for another one. She sat up slowly, knowing the pain that could come otherwise. Opening her eyes, she looked for her bag. Thankfully it was just within arm’s reach. As she leaned back down, she stretched out all the bones in her arm and hand to grab the purse straps.
The movement felt unnatural, but she finally awkwardly got the purse next to her on the coach. She thought the pills would be on top, but she didn’t see them. She looked through the main compartment hastily. With relief, she remembered she had tucked them away in a side pocket. As she pulled out the bag of pills, she also grabbed a piece of paper, which fell in her lap. She closed her eyes as she gently placed the pill on her tongue.
She opened her eyes, moved the purse to the floor, and grabbed the piece of paper in her lap. It had her name on the top and a list underneath.
1. Lose weight
2. Leave the cube prison!
3. Fall in love
For the first time in her life, she had actually accomplished all her new year’s resolutions.