The sun filtered through the windows with delicate streamers. Her eyes twirled watching them and in walked the nurse in her straight whites. The sneakers on the nurses feet squeaked on the floor because the cleaning crew had come in only a few minutes earlier to mop up the mess. Sonia sat on the bed with her legs curled under her butt to keep out of the way, not daring to step on the prissy pearl like surface.

You can’t fool me, Sonia thought.

The nurse cooed to her, but she only reached out her forearm, resting the elbow in the corner of her hip bone to expose the veins.

“We won’t be needing to do that this morning, Sonia, honey.”

For the first time that morning, Sonia looked at one of the staff. A question, vinegary, rose up from her stomach, like regurgitation and she thought she might vomit again.

“Why?” Sonia asked instead. Nothing else was left in her stomach, but she could still taste the burp of the mornings indigestion at the back of her throat.

“It seems the medication may have caused you a bit of discomfort. Is that right, sweetie? The night nurse wrote a note here in your chart that you weren’t feeling so well.”

“I puked all over the floor, right there where you’re standing.” As she said it she felt bad, maybe that the nurse thought her tone cold, but really she just wanted to make sure the floor knew that even though it was clean now, it wasn’t always and might not be again.


The nurse looked down at the floor, but swallowed her tongue, refusing to show any further sign of distress. Sonia looked at her face and furrowed her brow. Why won’t the nurse react, Sonia wondered. If she had walked in on a room where someone had only recently vomited Sonia thought she would probably react.

Early that morning the night nurse had found her crouched on the floor bent over a puddle of her own vomit stirring the chunks and pools of bile with the tip of her finger. When she heard the footsteps jarring on the floor up to her room, she tried to stop, but couldn’t. The patterns and swirls were so interesting, so new and unlike the white and pale blue calm of the hospital. There were reds and oranges, violent and surprising and passionate. So she continued to play with the color until suddenly the night nurse yelped and a couple of the guards ran in picking her up by the pits to dump her in the bathroom. Sonia had screamed, she remembered, because she knew they would get rid of it. Now it was gone and she would have to be okay with it.

The morning nurse shook her head subtly.

“It’s alright, honey. I’ll speak with the doctor and see that your dosage is changed. You can visit him today and maybe we can figure out a better prescription for you or something.” She smiled with a show of empathy, as if caring for a hungover friend. Then she left a cup of water on the table and a new blue pill. This one was oblong and darker, but still blue. Everything was blue here.

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