“Declined?” She asked.
“Yes ma’am, I’ve tried it twice.”
Jessica dug through her handbag and reached into her wallet. “Here, try this one.”
The clerk gave her a look that was somewhere between sympathy and annoyance.
Jess touched the items she had placed on the counter and then looked back over her counter at Myles, who was sitting in an oversized chair rubbing at his temples. He’d been her permanent sidekick, much to both of their disappointment, ever since the Yoga Incident. Jess couldn’t help but notice how unhappy he looked, and wondered how long they would both be able to keep this up. She was a danger—not only to herself but to her children as well, a message her husband, mother, and best friend had so gently delivered a few days following her trip to the emergency room. Her husband by way of Skype. Who hosts an intervention via Skype? Jess had asked Myles at one point. She wasn’t certain, but she was pretty sure he’d whispered, “Pussies, that’s who,” under his breath.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Clemens. This one isn’t working either. We are able to hold your items for up to twenty-four hours…”
“She’s holding up the line,” a young twenty-something said aloud as though Jess herself wasn’t aware of this fact and couldn’t hear her. “But don’t worry. She probably has another one to pull out, as if no one around here has anywhere to be,” the girl continued. A few fellow shoppers murmured similar sentiments. Most just stared.
Jessica shifted her feet. Her leg was hurting pretty badly today as was her back. She needed to take something soon or else tomorrow would be worse. The usual and agreed upon dosage wasn’t doing it anymore. “This is insane!” She found herself shouting a little louder than she’d intended. Additional shoppers were starting to take notice of her predicament no doubt, thanks to the snotty twenty-something and her huffing and puffing coming from the rear of the line. She took her credit card from the clerk’s hand. “I need to make a phone call. I’ll be back.” Jess said as she turned, shoved her wallet back in her handbag, and glared at the loud-mouthed girl.
She’d intended to say something once she reached her, but as Jess made her way through the line, her leg gave out, and she fell. No one moved to help as Jessica tried in vain to pick herself up. The clerk came
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