worked the last nine days straight. Three of those were doubles, including tonight. Dina was bushed.
Her feet and back ached as she finished rolling her silverware, and put the chairs up on the tables in
the restaurant she worked at the last two years. She just wanted to get home to her boyfriend who
better have a hot supper cooked!
Another month or so, and she would have the down payment for the house they planned on buying.
At twenty-two years old, Dina wanted some permanency in her life. She had most of it now, between
what she and Chuck had saved over the last year, taking their lunches and skipping going out to eat.
It hadn't been easy what with having to pay the rent on the small two-bedroom apartment, and there
always seemed to be some expense or another. It would be nice to own something, rather than have
someone else pay for their property with her hard-earned money.
The fry cook was a part-time chiropractor, and he offered to pop Dina's back for her. The crack of
vertebrae released some of her tension, but didn't do anything for her weariness. "Thanks Ricky,see
y'all Friday." She said, as she let herself out of the door of the restaurant. Her apron bulged with
change and bills.
Dina was a good server. She always took good care of her customers and was attentive. On top of
that she was not hard on the eyes, shoulder length brunette hair, big brown eyes, and a body to die
for, completed her package.
Dina worked out twice a week, and ran a mile or two when opportunity provided itself. Lately, there
had been no time to do anything but work it seemed, but this was her two days off, and she looked
forward to going home and getting some sleep. She made the short drive to the apartment, and
whipped the little Cobalt into the parking space beside Chuck's old Ford truck.
Chuck was ready with a smile and a kiss. "Got some meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pinto's, and
cornbread when you get your shower, Babe." He said as she went into the bedroom and poured the
change into the big water bottle they used for a piggy bank. The bills she put in an envelope in the
dresser after carefully counting it and adding the new total to the outside of the fat envelope. She
laid her apron and ticket book on the top of the dresser, and went into the bathroom, but the smell of
the meatloaf brought her right back out.
She had been busy all night and forgotten to grab a bite, and now she was starving. They ate
together and talked about their day, then Chuck went into the living room to play a quick game of
Halo, while Dina loaded the dishwasher.
She showered and pulled on a nightgown and brushed her teeth. She was tired, but not sleepy, as
she lay down for the night. A few minutes later Chuck came in and kissed her goodnight, as he
climbed in beside her. Soon he was snoring, while she lay there awake.
An hour passed, and she got up and went to the kitchen to fix her something to drink. Her body was
exhausted, but her mind raced as she opened the cabinet to get her glass. A bevy of pill bottles sat
in the right corner of the cabinet. She reached for the aspirin, but a bottle caught her eye, and she
grabbed it instead. It was a prescription for a sleeping medication made out to Chuck's mom.
She had stayed over with them a couple of weeks back, and must have forgotten to take them with
her. She tried to pull up what she knew about the drug, but all she could remember was that it was a
drug to help you sleep. The idea of reading the warning label never crossed her mind. She shook
two of the pills out into her palm, and swallowed them with the tea she had poured herself. She
screwed the lid back on the bottle and put them up in the cabinet, and closed the door.
Taking the half-full glass of tea with her, she returned to the bedroom where the T.V. was now on, but
cut down to where you could barely hear it. She smiled, Chuck always fixed the T.V. this way, but
most of the time it was after she had gone to sleep. She set her tea glass on the nightstand beside
her side of the bed and crawled back in. She lay there watching the soundless T.V. for a few
minutes, and her eyes closed.
She must have dozed, but she heard voices' whispering, and her eyes flew open. She had rolled
over toward Chuck's side, and was looking at the mirrored closet doors. The reflection from the T.V.
was making strange figures in the glass; it looked like little men with long hair.
She turned her head and looked toward the set, but there was only snow, as the station had gone off
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