Not My Turn

by bdhesse

The woman beside me sobs again. I look at her out of the corner of my eye, but I don’t speak. How can I? After all, it’s the ones who don’t know, the ones who’ll never know, that do the comforting. No, I won’t speak. I can’t. It won’t help.
I look away from the shaking girl as the bathroom door opens. Another girl walks out. As she does so, she wipes her mouth. Our eyes meet for a second. She looks away and hurries back to her seat. I avert my eyes as well.
Oops. My eyes drifted too far. I saw the third girl. Worse, she saw me. Her eyes flicker, but she continues to stare straight ahead.
I quickly look down at my feet as my face turns red. That’s better. Now I can pretend I’m alone. No one can see my shame. I’m not here. I’m not supposed to be here. Why am I here? If I just walked out, if I left, would anybody notice? Why am I here? I don’t want to be here! I should leave…
I look up to see the nurse smiling at me. It’s my turn now. It’s too late. There’s no turning back.

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