The Monsters Within

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Chapter 17

I left the examination room with an anti-anxiety prescription and the promise of a follow-up visit in two weeks.

As I proceeded into the waiting room, Brad rose to face me, only to frown a short moment later.

“What?” I asked, startled by his expression.

“It’s… nothing,” he replied, before looking down at the prescription I held in my hand. “Are you all right?”

“I’m… as okay as I think I can be, all things considering.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” He paused once more. “He gave you something?”

“He did.”

“Good. You probably need it.”

Probably? I thought, and somehow resisted the urge to laugh.

We stared at each other for several long moments—barely breathing, not speaking. When Brad cleared his throat and said, “We should go,” all I could do was nod and follow him out of the clinic.

The moment we stepped outside, Brad exhaled and said, “Thank God.”

“Is something wrong?” I asked, unsure how to feel about the sudden expression.

“I don’t like doctors,” he replied.

“I don’t think anyone does.”

“I’ve… got my reasons,” he said.

Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate. However—given that I didn’t ask him to, I couldn’t blame him. I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I wasn’t bothering to think about anyone else’s, no matter how odd or out-of-the-blue they happened to be.

As Brad withdrew his cell phone and hailed a ride through his smartphone app, I looked down at the medication I was being prescribed and sighed.

It was one of the few times in my life that I’d ever had to take prescription medication. I wasn’t sure how I’d react to it. My parents, especially my mother, had been notorious about not letting me take even pain medication if it wasn’t necessary, even for the smallest of headaches. It’ll pass, she’d say, even when I was sick and in the throes of what felt like death—that ship disembarking across the ocean of my personal pain and suffering.

I shook my head in an attempt to dispel the memory, only to find that it lingered persistently. Even when the cab pulled up and we climbed inside, I found myself thinking about what would happen come time I started to take the medication, come time it finally began to cycle through my bloodstream.

You’ll be fine, I thought. Everything’s going to be okay.

Was it, though?

Truth be told, I didn’t know; and for that reason, could only wonder.

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