In the end, Megan didn’t go to the clinic that morning. She never even left the house.
It was only the form and figure of Megan who left early in the morning to study at the library; that drove slowly as Megan would not have. It wasn’t Megan that sat in the parking lot staring at her hands because she was too early, as Megan would not have been.
She didn’t board the metro bus which Megan never rode, or purposely get off four stops too early in the blistering cold that Megan hated.
It was not Megan who entered the warm, cozy waiting area, signed in at the desk, and responded automatically to the receptionist’s attempt at a reassuring smile. Megan was miles away when the brown haired, brown eyed teenager, looking so much smaller and more vulnerable than Megan herself, lay waiting on the table, silent tears tracking down her temples into her hair.
Megan wasn’t there to wake later, and respond politely and perfunctorily to the nurse’s questions and instructions, or leave a while later and fight her weary legs to pass two bus stops before boarding the one that would take her back up-town. Or get in the car, in spite of instructions to the contrary, and drive carefully back home.
It wasn’t Megan who went immediately to her bedroom to lie down, claiming a headache from so much studying, not noticing that she’d left her backpack in the car.
Megan didn’t cry herself to sleep that afternoon, or later when the prescription pulled her gently into sleep that night. She didn’t cry that day or that week or ever for the girl who left behind a piece of her soul that morning in the clinic with the walls that were a cool, soothing green and the staff that was quiet, efficient and kind. Megan wasn’t one who could summon tears for another’s pain.
And nothing had happened to Megan worth crying about.