Aunt Livia grasped Cory’s wrist. “Oh, get the camera out of my handbag and take a picture of Douglas carving the turkey. It’s just over there, on the coffee table.” She flapped a manicured hand toward the other room. Cory figured she might as well, since Douglas was taking so darn long about it. She struggled out of her chair, careful not to step on Hershey, who was wedged in his usual spot under her feet. Aunt Livia’s handbag, not unlike Livia herself, was a small stiff box sitting pertly on the end table by the door. Her mom’s bag was deposited there, too. It was an overly large, soft bag with an open zipper, collapsed across the surface of the table. Cory opened Olivia’s bag, spotted the camera among the sparse contents, and snapped it shut again. When she moved her mom’s slouching purse aside, the opening gaped wider. Among the receipts, tissues, and make-up in a side pocket, there were several opaque brown bottles with white labels. Cory looked over her shoulder, then removed one. The name of a local pharmacy and a doctor she had never heard of were printed on the label. A bunch of warning stickers covered the rest of the label, but she could still read “Vicodin.” She opened the bottle. About ten blue and white pills rolled around in the bottom. Cory fingered the other bottles in the bag to bring their labels into view. All of them were empty. The dates on the bottles were within the last four weeks and all from different doctors.
The oven had been on all day heating up the house and making the air heavy with the scent of roasted meat. Cory blew a strand of hair away from her face and pulled at the collar of her sweater. She hadn’t eaten much and the two glasses of wine on an empty stomach made her head spin. Before replacing the bottle, she shook out two pills and jammed them down into a side pocket of her jeans, then returned to the dining room.
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