*A little bit of Abby angst. Abby's point of view.*

I lost him. I don't know what I did, but I've been replaced. One day we're laughing and joking and the next day Susan Lewis walks through the door and I've been droppd like a dead rat. She had been back for one day and they were holding hands. Funny how quickly I'm replaced. Not just by Carter either, Luka's replaced me already too. I guess they were both just using me till something better came along.

So I've been doing a lot of thinking lately; thinking about me and my purpose in the world. And I've come to a conclusion, I don't have one. There's absolutely no reason for me to be here on earth. I have a crazy mother who's gone and left me alone and a brother I never talk to. I have no relationship and my best friend just left me in the dirt for something prettier and blonde. Not to mention my job consists of following orders and cleaning up shit and puke. Fun fun.

Most people would swallow some pills and get it over with. But not me. I don't have the guts. I'm the kind of person who complains but never takes action. Why? Because I'm too afraid of change. I hate change. I want things to stay the same and I can't stand it when things change despite that fact. I'm not going to swallow pills and I'm not going to put a gun in my mouth. I'm too much of a fucking coward.

Maybe that's why I'm here, sitting in a smoke filled bar full of strangers who are staring at me.

"Is there something wrong with it Hon?" the bartender asks. I've been staring at the whiskey in front of me as though it were dancing.

His question brings me out of my daze, though, and I shake my head "no" in reply.

So here I go. Goodbye life!

"Another," I tell the bearded bar tender as I slam down the empty shot glass in front of us. This continues for another twenty minutes until he imforms me that I've damn near emptied his bottle.

"Open some vodka then," I suggest.

"I don't care about the bottle, Hon. You just drank a hell of a lot for someone your size. I don't think you need anymore."

"I can handle more than you think," I say, but he doesn't look like he believes me. "Fine. Just two shots of vodka and then I'm out of here."

He hesitantly complies, filling a double shooter so I can have it all at once. When I finish I throw down enough money for the drinks and a generous tip. I get dizzy when I stand up, but it's no biggy. It should hit me hard by the time I'm on the El. I might even be able to make it home.

~
When I woke up I wasn't home. I wasn't at anyone's home, it was a hotel, one I've never seen before. Whoever was here with me isn't here anymore, but I don't care. I don't even care that I made a huge mistake. All I want is another drink.

The clock by the bed says it's seven a.m., which means I have an hour before I have to be in for work. Enough time to shower and raid the in-room bar before I have to go.

~
I slip into work unnoticed, which gives me an oportunity to grab some clean scrubs to change into. I rinse my mouth out with soap too. It's disgusting, but hopefully it'll help get rid of the smell. The mini-bar only had one little bottle of vodka, so I put that one in my purse to save for later and drank the whickey and drambue instead. I figured I'd need a drink sometime today at work, and since no one can smell vodka on your breath, it's the perfect mid-day drink. I hate my job, but I don't want to be fired. I need the money.

It's slow right now, so I go to the supply closet to do some organizing. No one will see me in there so it's the best place to stay hidden for a while. I really don't feel like seeing anyone. Not to mention the florescent lights are making my hangover worse. I remind myself to go get some aspirin out of the drug lock up.

"Oh hi Abby," chirps Dr. Lewis as she walks into the closet with me. "I didn't know you were here."

I smile politely, but I don't talk. Now her voice is making my hangover worse.

"Could you hand me a suture kit?" she asks. So I do. "Oh, and could you assist me in Cutain area 2." She doesn't wait for an answer because it wasn't a request. So I follow.

I hate my job.

When she's finished suturing, she thanks me for irrigating the wound for her.

"Don't mention it," I say with a fake smile. "It's my job after all."

She gives me a suspicious look, but I walk away. Screw her. I don't care if I was rude, she fucking ruined my life.

~
Lunch time rolls around and I eat out by the river. I have some water and my vodka to drink. The small bottle wasn't satisfying, so I stroll over to a grocery store and buy myself a medium size bottle, one that will fit in my purse. I drink enough to feel pretty mellow by the time I make it back to the hospital. Just to be safe I find some gum in my purse and pop it in my mouth before I walk through the doors.

"Hey Abby," says Carter as I walk by. "I could sure use your help."

"Okay," is my reply as we start to head towards Exam 2. There was a man on the bed with a severe arm laceration. The cut was about three centimeters away from needing surgery.

"You're lucky that didn't go any deeper," Carter tells him. "How'd it happen?"

"I fell and my arm got snagged on some wire on my way down."

"Were you doing electrical work?"

"Yeah, but luckliy it was a dead wire."

Their banter went on for a while as Carter and I stitched him up. When he was finished he said he had something to do and asked if I would dress it for him.

"Okay," is my reply again as he walks away and waves his thank you.

"Oh, hey. It's you," says the patient after he takes a good look at me.

"Excuse me?" I ask him.

"I'm sorry I left like that. I didn't know I'd be seeing you again so soon."

"I don't know what you're talking about," I explain.

"You must have been really hammered last night," he laughs.

"Oh," I say when I realize who he is.

"Well, it was dark and I really wasn't paying that much attention."

"It's okay. Neither was I. I guess neither of us thought we'd be seeing each other again so soon."

"Actually I never thought I'd see you again. And I don't mind that you left this morning."

"Oh. Good. So, no hard feelings?" he questioned quite sincerely.

"No hard feelings."

"So I guess since you're a nurse you're pretty much disease free?"

"Pretty much."

"Me too, so don't worry."

"I won't. Okay, you're all good to go." I say as I get up to find Carter to sign him out. I can see the reflection of the patient put his shirt back on as I'm leaving.

I find Carter at the front desk talking with Dr. Lewis and I hand him the chart.

"He's good to go," I tell him.

As if on cue the patient walks by us both.

"Thanks," he says to us both, and looking right at me he says, "And thank you for being so cool about last night."

"No problem," I say with a forced smile.

"What did he mean by that?" Carter asked.

"Nothing." I start heading for the bathroom, not wanting this conversation to go any farther than it has.

"Abby, what's going on?" he persists.

"It's none of your business Carter," I say just before I push open the women's bathroom door with my back and roll inside.

I stumble over to the sink shaking from embarassment, although I shouldn't be embarassed. I'm an adult and am allowed to make my own decisions. And besides, what does Carter care anyway? He has Dr. Lewis to worry about now.

As I splash water on my face to calm myself down, I make the decision to drink at home from now on. I can't have something like this happening again. If it gets out at work that I'm drinking I'll loose my job for sure.

Speaking of drinking, I could sure go for some now. But I just got back from lunch and it would be suspicious if I took a break so soon afterwards. I'll just have to stick it out for another hour or so. After that it'll only be a few hours until I can go home, with a detour to the liquor store of course. A few more hours and I'll be able to drown my problems and make the world disappear.