Monday through Friday, she gets up at 6 every morning. She brushes her teeth, drinks half a cup of coffee and puts on her makeup while having her first cigarette. She dresses and sits on the bed to kiss her husband goodbye. She goes to work everyday. She does her job with diligence. Looks appropriate, acts somewhat appropriate except for the occasional tears that she cannot control. She goes to the store during her lunch break when she needs to, and smiles if anyone catches her eye. She is polite to the clerk and holds the door for others coming through it.
She says all the appropriate things throughout her day, answering the phone with what she hopes is a more upbeat voice than she feels. Those are the only conversations she will have the entire day. She smiles at her boss when he comes in the office. She knows he may not come out of his office again, unless he needs her to do something, until he leaves at 5.
She speaks to the neighbors when she gets home from work. Takes care of the animals and cleans a little. She sits in front of the television until it is time to go to bed. She doesn't see it, or even hear it, but she sits there.
She takes her pills so that the dismal thoughts will be silenced long enough for her to sleep until it is time to get up and do it all again, and she wonders if this is her life forever.
She wants very much to be brave enough to make friends, she longs to have friends.
In the darkest of nights, when the world is quiet and dreaming, she wonders if the voices that tell her she gets what she deserves are real. Maybe it is true. Maybe she has been so bad that this is her punishment. A lifetime of feeling like she just doesn’t quite belong. As if there is some secret that everyone knows except her.