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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 7 page 04

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Spilled pills

Laura reached over and grabbed the pill bottle from the small drawer in the side table. Her thermos was close by. She opened the child-proof cap and swallowed a few of the pills. She exhaled a deep breath, placed a few more pills in her mouth, downed another gulp of water. This wasn’t so bad, she thought. Soon the bottle was empty. She studied the label. Was it her imagination or were the words already getting fuzzy? Ambien, her mother’s favorite sleep aid. How lucky that her mother had a vast array of medication from which to select. She was home a few months ago and took the pills from her mother’s bathroom cabinet when she had that bout of insomnia. She remembered it well. She and Jimmy were getting really serious and the excitement was overwhelming and she couldn’t sleep. Funny, how things changed so quickly. One minute she was dreaming about a spring wedding and now there would be a winter funeral.

“Good luck to you both,” she said out loud, “and I hope you rot in hell!” She lay back on the pillow feeling very drowsy now. She closed her eyes and let herself fall. A half hour later, the phone chirped again. In her head, Laura heard a blue jay warbling. She was falling down, down, blissfully down, into the abyss.

—♦—


Jimmy, anxious on the other end of the line, heard her voicemail message click in. “Oh God, Laura, answer, please answer!” he yelled. “Fuck!” He left her a brief message: “Laura, please call me. I need to see you right away. I’m so sorry. I’ve been a complete idiot! Please, Laura. I’ll be home all night waiting to hear back from you.

He slammed his cell down and reached to the top shelf for a bottle of tequila.

When his doorbell rang late that night, Jimmy tried to jump up from the couch. “Oh God, my head.” The room was spinning softly. Laura, he thought, brightening. I knew she’d come. He flung the door open wide but it wasn’t Laura at all. It was a tall, thin man in a shapeless suit.

“Are you James Wilcox?”

“Yes. Who the hell are you?”

The man pulled a badge out of his pocket and flashed it in Jimmy’s face. "Detective Sergeant Trent, 51 Division. Can I come in?"

“What’s this about?” asked Jimmy, totally confused.

“You are acquainted with Laura Thompson?”

“Yeh, she’s my girlfriend. I mean, she was but we broke up — but we’re getting back together,” Jimmy said very positively.

“Yeh, I don’t think so, son. You’d better sit down”.

And just like that, Laura got even.