S. Crowe – Session 1 (Cont.)

If you missed the beginning, you can find it right here!

“You don’t know it?”

Dorothea kept her voice pitched low, enunciating the words slowly and with only the slightest upturn on the last syllable; no reason to make Ms. Crowe any more agitated. Her eyes were locked on the bit of blood oozing out of the other woman’s wrist, but her peripheral vision could see more raw flesh hiding beneath the hair bands that braceleted the young woman’s forearm.

Crowe sighed, turning her head to look at the wall. Her eyes were glassy, unfocused. Dorothea suspected the woman might have recently engaged in an illicit substance. Possibly heroin, or oxycontin. The vacant look, apparent lack of pain reaction, and the notes that her initial medical contact had left in the file regarding possible track marks near the armpit certainly suggested it.

“No. Don’t know anything, really. Some doctor said I was lucky to be alive before he put me in a room, some other doctor asked a bunch of questions, then they sent me to you.”

She turned to face Dorothea, and in an instant the disinterested glaze was gone. Her brown eyes gave the doctor a shudder, looking almost predatory as they zeroed in.

“You’re just another doctor, who’s going to ask me a bunch of questions and then kick me down the line. I know that’s what you folks do, yes indeed. I know that much.”

Dorothea felt her spine tingle, the muscles begging for the chance to pull back from that animalistic gaze, but she steeled herself. She hadn’t spent almost a decade in school and another five years working the psych ward just to cower from a woman who, despite obviously being in need of some sort of help, was nothing more than a skinny junkie with memory loss.

“Well, I can’t say I’m not going to ask any questions as that would be a lie, Ms. Crowe. I have no intention of lying to you. But I don’t have any intention of ‘kicking you down the line,’ as you put it. I’m here to help, and will be with you for as long as that takes.”

“Kill or cure,” Crowe muttered, her eyes glazing over again as they sought the comfort of her wrist. She snapped another band, this one a vibrant red and adorned with a stalk of straw. Pink fluid, not quite blood and not quite pus, seeped from underneath.

“Preferably not the former,” Dorothea said. “Would you like a tissue? Perhaps a bandage?” She knew the other woman would refuse it – the plucking and injuries it caused were obviously some sort of comfort mechanism – but felt it important to offer. The patient needed to know it was always on the table, if only so Dorothea could hope it would one day be taken.

The only response was a slow roll of the shoulders, punctuated with a disinterested grunt.

Better than a flat “no,” at least, she thought.

It’s short, I know. But it’s something. More to come, I promise!

KA Spiral no signature

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