The Best Intentions [part II]

The light turned green and Thomas drove away, soon forgetting all about the woman and the twenty dollar bill.

Less than 24 hours later, an ambulance was racing through the city, weaving through traffic and running past stop signs, the paramedics inside struggling to resuscitate the woman strapped to the table.

Before they even reached the hospital, though, she was dead from a heroin overdose. One of the paramedics, a young woman in her twenties named Marci, was trying hard not to cry. Her partner, a stocky fifty year-old named Bruno, turned to her and said softly, “These damn junkies, they never learn. New York is full of ‘em.”

Marci ignored him as she stared at the lifeless woman on the table, wondering if she’d ever learn to affect the same distance to the dead that Bruno had learned.

The dead woman’s arms were criss-crossed with the scars of countless needles. Her wide open eyes were a faded blue, like over-washed jeans. Like all the living had left long before her soul slipped out the door.

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