The dawn rose gradually behind snow capped mountains, turning the sky into a bronze canvas. Sunlight reflected off the glazing from the high-rise structures that towered over the city. Vapors from the cold engines, ascended into the atmosphere as the highways piled up with steady traffic. McGhee sat on the edge of the matress, a sliver of sunlight penetrating the half opened-blinds, casting a bright vertical line across the dim unaired room. Her face was draped with melancholy, a dead stare faced forward, unaffected from the glow that burned into her eyes. Unsticking her tongue from the roof of her mouth, the taste of meat wedged between her teeth, mingled with the stench of a dozen Marlboro reds. The odor escaped and crept up her nostrils. 

She felt the shakes coming on.

Not taking her Saxagliptin the night before, her sugar levels spiked, causing her to perspire and refocus her blurred vision with hard blinks. The alarm went off:


The urge to lay back down and pull the covers over her head, tempted her greatly. But it had been the third day straight she had called out sick, leaving her with no more to spare. Anymore, and it would be deduced from her pay. Beside the half-dozen bottles of medication, an old wooden picture frame, stood propped up at an angle. It was a photograph of her and her ex-husband, vacationing at the Grand Canyon three years ago. The long smile on her face was almost alien to her. She had not smiled like that, since Earl had run off with his much younger receptionist the previous summer. There was no doubt in McGhee’s mind, that the girl was only interested in him for his bank account. But that young, naive, twenty-nine year old girl, had turned McGhee’s whole world upside down. Even still, she looked at her ex-husband with unwavering devotion, counting the days he’d get tired of her lies and return to her. Popping a handful of pills into her mouth, knocking them back with a tall glass of water, McGhee stood, her knees buckling and cracking at the weight of her heavy frame. She took a deep, strenuous breath, and braced herself for the day in front of her.

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