Sandra walked off the elevator in a confident stride. Just then Darian came around the other corner away from Merry’s office. She was chewing her fingernails and looked very edgy. She saw Sandra and stopped and waited for her in front of her office.
“Hey, you know, I need some gum. Can I have some gum? Do you have any?” she frenetically shot off these questions.
Sandra stared at her. Her hair had thinned and fallen out so it was scraggily looking. The sores on her face had at least healed and scabbed over since her arrival. But judging by her hyper mood and her shifting eyes, Sandra wondered if she was high. She unlocked her office door and allowed Darian to walk in first. She went to her desk and pulled out a plastic-cup-shaped Orbit mint-gum container. She extended it to Darian who gratefully grabbed out her own Chiclet-sized piece and shoved it her mouth. Sandra sat in the chair across from the taupe-colored leather sofa where the patients were expected to sit. It had a fluffy blue blanket over the back so the patients could cover themselves if they got cold. Darian sat down as far from Sandra as she could get.
“Your sores are healing,” commented Sandra.
Darian ran her blue fingernail over the rough scab of the one on her left cheek. She took in the feel and was quiet for the first time since she had gotten in the room.
“You want to tell me why you were down at our Executive Director’s office?”
“Oh, um, that chick is the executive whatever?”
“Oh, I got lost.”
“I see,” nodded Sandra. “Do you want to talk about how you feel after detox?”
Darian shrugged, “I want some meth. You got some of that and I’ll feel pretty good actually.”
“Cravings bothering you? It will be like that for the rest of your life – just not as bad as time goes on.”
Darian started unconsciously scraping her nail lightly across the arm of the sofa. She was very uncomfortable. Sandra opened her folder and glanced at it.
“What’s that say?”
“What do you think it says?”
“That I’m a whore.”
“That my brother sold my body to any guy with a cock and a buck.”
“What? You’re not all horrified and shit?”
Sandra stared at her. “You think I should be?”
“Yeah. Hey, you got a smoke or something? Vape works, too. Do they let us do vape in this pen?”
“Hey, yeah so … what do you want to know. Do I like it? Yeah, actually some of the guys were pretty nice. So like yeah … I liked it okay. Sometimes …”
“I see. And what about your boyfriend? Did he like it … what you did for a living?”
“Fuck you Ms. Fisher. Course not,” Darian suddenly got up and paced the room. “Fucking cunt, ask me that shit!”
“Then I’ll have to call Stu and Paul.”
“Fuck off,” she roared and sullenly obeyed. “I fucking hate men. I don’t want no more douche bags touching me all right! None of you bitches either.”
“So you’re not a lesbian?”
“Fuck no! God I need a cig … at least a vape. Come on. Get me one.”
“So you used the women the way they used you?”
“What the hell do you know about it? Fucking bitch.”
“You’re aware we don’t accept that kind of language around here?”
“So, you’ll lose ground privileges unless you stop talking to me that way.”
“Fuck you!” she shouted even louder.
Sandra stared at her, got up, pressed a button, and stood there without saying a word. Darian glared at her.
“You’re one of them – just another cunt-faced bitch who wants to fuck, right?”
Stu and Paul entered. Darian stood up and tried to bolt past them to the door. Stu who was easily three times her size, grabbed her thin arm, while Paul grabbed the other. She began wildly screaming.
“Rape! Fucking rapists! I’ll press charges. Assholes!”
Sandra nodded at them. As they pulled Darian down the hallway, she made quite a raucous. Sandra could hear her crying rape down in the solitary rooms where Darian Masterson would spend a long afternoon and evening cooling down. She would be kept out of group and isolated in therapy until she regained her senses. The come down from the drugs took time, and meth was a particularly nasty one to sober up from. Sandra expected Darian to go at least another three or four days in a foul mood and unwilling to really dig into therapy. She went back to her desk to make some notes when Merry came to the door. She knocked on it and peered in.
“Everything okay in here?”
“Oh,” she nodded. “Just checking.”
“That stuff is so toxic. And that girl is very young. I doubt this will be her last trip to rehab.”
“Oh, now Sandy lighten up. Sometimes they’re not repeaters. Have some faith.”
“Hmm… you want to go to lunch?”
“How’s that new guy, what Kevin Sanders doing?”
“Pretty good actually. Flirting with the girls though. The nurses love him.”
Merry nodded. “On second thought I think I’ll have a sandwich at my desk.”
“Oh, too bad. They’re serving turkey and mashed potatoes in the cafeteria.”
Merry shrugged, “No, I’ll pass. See you later.”
And Merry’s head disappeared from the doorway. Sandra thought she acted a little odd – well, for Merry anyway. Merry never seemed quite social. And although she had been their ED for almost a year now, no one could say they really knew her very well. But she was likeable enough.
“Well,” thought Sandra, “turkey sounds good.”