by Margaret Apostolis
The room felt different. The woman knew something was missing the moment she stepped into the white bedroom. She walked over to the gold vanity, took a deep breath and opened the small drawer. She rummaged through the drawer as she searched for the familiar container in her usual hiding spot. She went through the makeup in the drawer, chaotically, as she looked for her pouch. She felt her panic slowly begin to rise.
“What have you done with them?” She called to her husband in the bathroom, “What have you done with my pills? I need them!” She was answered with no response.
She looked into the mirror recognizing the crazed look in her brown eyes. The sweat began to form on her brow as her scalp began to itch. The woman aggressively scratched her head with a perfectly manicured finger causing her styled hair to fall out of place. Part of her knew these symptoms were all self induced, the stress of not locating her container was simply getting to her. The stronger part believed she was on the brink of experiencing withdrawals.
The woman rushed into the bathroom. She passed her husband who stood at the mirror as he tied his necktie. The woman huffed loudly and ripped open her medicine cabinet, small orange containers greet her. Manically, she grabbed handfuls at a time as she tried to read each label of the containers for the familiar name. Her husband sighed with distaste as he watched her. Had he known two years ago that a miscarriage was going to turn his beautiful intelligent wife into a drug addict, he would have at least made her sign a prenuptial agreement. The thought depressed him enough to leave the bathroom to make himself a gin and tonic.
The woman hurried back into the bedroom, she grabbed her large bag resting on the settee. She dumped the contents onto the stark white comforter. Shaking the bag to make sure there was nothing stuck, she tossed the leather purse to the side of the room. She searched the pile on her king sized bed, frantically. Finally, her eyes rested on something familiar. She grabbed the little red tin container. She shut her eyes as she said a small prayer. The woman opened the rusted lid and poured the items into her palm. She opened her eyes hopeful but was greeted with horror. She curled her hands into a fist around the two aspirin before she threw them angrily across the room. She stomped toward the vanity as angry tears fell down her face. As she reached for the drawer, the mirror caught her attention. Weak, sad and hopeless eyes looked back at her as she gazed at the stranger in her reflection. She picked up the heaviest object near her, and shattered the mirror. After she witnessed the damage, she dropped her head to the hard wood as she felt her control break. Her body shook violently as she was overcome with sobs.
Her husband approached her though she did not remove her head from the vanity. He looked at the mirror and snickered at the mess. He dropped the orange container right beside her, “We are going to be late to the party.”
She glanced at the orange bottle and contemplated. Deep down she knew not to take them, now she could start her life fresh, maybe get control back again. But life without the numbness of her pain medication was impossible. Slowly, she felt her hand reach over to grasp the bottle. She ran her finger along the edge of the cap. The sound of the opening sent shivers down her spine. She poured two pills into her hands. She let out a relieved breath as she saw blue instead of white. She quickly popped the two tablets into her mouth, tilted her head back before she dry swallowed the pills. She looked at her reflection in the cracked mirror and watched as the terrifying look slowly fell from her eyes. The woman snapped her fingers playfully before turning her frown into a confident smile. She exited the bedroom and accepted the arm of her waiting husband.
Margaret Apostolis is a freelance fiction writer out of Florida. After winning an award for her inaugural piece of fiction, she pursued writing as a career. Published currently in a short story anthology Exhuming Alexandria.