Broken


She pulled her left shoe on slowly to avoid making a sound.  It felt like there was something in the toe, but she didn't have time for that.  Her roommate had "company," and she heard him stir as she tied the shoes and grabbed her bag.  The jacket that was tossed over the back of a chair was familiar to her.
      It had been 183 days.  Pulling her hair into a ponytail, she did the math:  4392 hours; 263, 520 minutes.
      With the water on only a trickle she brushed her teeth.  Is it sing the alphabet twice, or is that hand washing?  Rinse, spit, rinse, spit.  She looked at her face in the mirror as she patted it dry.
      "It could be another 263, 520 minutes, for all I care," she whispered to her reflection.  "It never ends well."
      Still looking at her face in the mirror, she reached toward the towel bar, missing it, instead knocking the Buddha toothbrush holder from the counter to the floor.  With a crack, the ceramic broke into a dozen sharp pieces, tinkling as they scattered across the floor.
      She worked quickly to get all the pieces into the small waste basket, hearing her room mate and her company make their way to the kitchen.  By the time she left the bathroom, the warm smell of coffee was drifting from the kitchen.
      "Lo siento, I was trying to be quiet," she offered with a shrug.
      "That's ok, shit happens.  This is Brad."
      "Yeah, we've met," she said, over her shoulder, closing the door behind her.
      "263, 520 minutes ago," she thought, squinting in the morning sun, her feet tapping a rhythm toward another day of work at the hospital.  
Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked