In the bathroom, Higgins took a syringe, pre-loaded with a hundred milligrams of Demerol, from the medicine cabinet. It used to be twenty-five, and then fifty. Now it was a hundred, sometimes twice a day. Were the headaches getting worse, or was she becoming addicted? It didn’t matter. Either way, she was rapidly declining. Two months ago she was a caring, compassionate nurse with endless potential and a bright future, which might have included medical school. And now she had been reduced to a barely functioning shadow who lived each day in fear of the next crippling migraine, the unfinished med-school application sitting in the desk drawer.
He squeezed the back of her arm and stabbed the needle deep into the triceps muscle. She didn’t flinch. He injected the Demerol, then sat next to her and watched her drift into a drug-induced haze. Once he was sure her breathing was not going to stop, he turned off the light, went downstairs, and sagged into the cold Naugahyde of the fake-leather chair.
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