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I think I’ll be next. I swear it feels like my brain itches knowing what is about to happen. I reach up touching my head like it’s not going to be there any longer. Sure feels that way. The girl at the counter looks at me, quickly glancing away. She knows. She has to. Naturally, I put my hand in my pocket feeling around for my coin. 10 years clean. It’s a big deal, or so I’m told.

“Peter?” She calls out and a stout man with a little wisp of a mustache shifts in his chair and looks around before getting up. Peter wipes his forehead and nods to the girl. He approaches the door and sighs. She opens the door and Peter is gone.

A bead of sweat trickles down my face falling into my lap. I can’t help but feel alone. Then, I realize I literally am alone. No one else is waiting. Waiting for a procedure that will give them total control. I told myself I would never get to this point. A lot of good that did. 10 years a fake. A liar, a real son of a bitch. I’ve estranged myself from everyone and ended up here. At desperation.

Then I notice the girl, again, looking right at me. She can’t be more than 18 years old with her childlike features and ribbon in her hair. She pushes a few strands of hair behind her ear and forces herself to smile at me. It’s pathetic. I look away and check my watch. Happy hour. I feel something cool fall down my side. My shirt is soaked in sweat. I can’t do this. Most addicts at this point would call their sponsor, which I never had, nor wanted. I feel the Bloody Mary coming up the back of my throat. Swallowing, I force it down.

“Eli?” She calls out.

I lock eyes with her and bolt for the door.

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