One More Day
by J. Bayer
Karen tipped the small plastic bottle and spilled its contents onto her desktop. There were thirty-two of the little white pills remaining. So small – only a quarter inch long – and she wondered, not for the first time, whether they’d be enough to do the job or only make her puke.
She and the pills were trapped in an ever-tightening vortex – people all round were losing their jobs because of the economy and she knew her own position was in jeopardy. She’d been sick and the extra expenses were causing her bills to mount so quickly she no longer collected them from her mailbox.
“You can come live with us,” her daughter, Paige, had offered, but when Karen had broached the real possibility of it, Paige sounded less certain. Karen remembered the years she’d cared for her own mother and didn’t blame her daughter for the change in heart. “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” she muttered.
There’d been an additional pill the last time she’d counted. Her cat was buried in the backyard because he’d found number thirty-three. His pharmaceutical death should have reassured her about their potency, but it only depressed her more.
Karen looked about the room; some good pieces of furniture, a couple of nice paintings, and a reasonably new computer. The other rooms in her home were about the same – comfortable, but nothing special. Briefly, she wondered what everything would fetch if she sold it. “Not much,” she said aloud. “The economy is hurting everyone.”
Little to show for a lifetime, she thought, and began to sob. Everything made her weep these days and she was tired of it.
She counted the thirty-two pills back into the bottle. “Tomorrow.”