It is quiet in the house as I lay out the pills. Every crimson cap together in a row. My rhythmic breathing keeps the time as I count out twenty-seven. I shake another into the palm of my hand. The hollow rattle of the near empty bottle echoes in the stillness.
Twenty-seven, plus one to grow on. As the clock chimes midnight I sweep the pills into the bottle, a satisfying rustle of acetaminophen and plastic clicking together. Logically tomorrow will be no different than today. But for tonight, hope, ever vigilant, takes up her mantle once more.