"Lynette, are you sure you want to stay? I mean, you look pretty tired." Susan looked at Lynette with a hint of worry fleeting across her face. Lynette, however, forced a smile and sat languidly down on her chair while placing the bowl of popcorn on the side of the poker table. "Oh, I'm fine, Susan. Really, it's just poker." Just then , Bree and Gabrielle walked briskly into the room and sat at their own respective places. "Alright, let's get started!" exclaimed Gabi enthusiastically with a little clap of her hands. The other three women smiled and started to gossip as Bree divided the poker chips.

The next morning, Lynette woke up feeling like crap. The sun streamed in through the blinds and temporarily blinded her. After cursing the sun and wishing death upon it, she mentally scolded herself for staying up all night playing poker, drinking, and gossiping with the girls. After all, it had been pretty stupid of her to do that when she knew that she would start coming down from the Ritalin soon. Sighing, she glanced at her alarm clock, which read 8:40. Dammit! She was supposed to take the boys to school at eight! She flew through her morning routine then ran down the stairs, moving so fast that she almost tumbled down them while she shouted apologies to her kids. However, when she reached the kitchen the only people in sight were Tom, who was calmly eating toast and reading the newspaper, and Penny, who was playing happily on the floor with a stuffed rabbit. Lynette stopped short and gazed around while firing questions at Tom. "Where are the boys? Why aren't you at work? Why didn't you wake me up?" Tom replied, "You stayed up too late last night. Looked like you needed some extra sleep." A sort of fuzzy warm feeling filled Lynette as she stared at her husband, then she threw her arms around him and kissed him.

The thing was, Tom wasn't far off the mark when he said that she'd needed some extra sleep. Because Lynette needed not only extra sleep, but a couple extra set of hands and more Ritalin. She couldn't concentrate at work; the papers seemed to be piling up and she just didn't have the energy to do anything about it. As usual she got off early to pick up Parker, Preston, and Porter from school. When she saw them running down the steps, a familiar feeling of dread settled in her stomach.

It wasn't that Lynette didn't love her kids; she did. They just wore her out completely. She could never control them, and there was no babysitter left in her neighborhood or any of the surrounding neighborhoods that would willingly watch the boys all day. They were, after all, "the hellions." And even if she and Tom had been able to find a nanny to help them, Lynette was doubtless that a nanny would cost too much to keep for very long.

This was why Lynette took Ritalin every day and drank her herbal tea (which put her right out) every night. She'd never considered the negative affects that it would have on her, that every day her eyes would be bloodshot and her movements would turn jerky. Tom had been concerned about her for quite some time now, and her friends were even beginning to notice that something was wrong. None of them had any idea, however, of just how bad Lynette's addiction was going to get.