I sat in the breakroom at work, pondering over the last few weeks, trying to figure out how to successfully keep avoiding Bucky without driving myself crazy, yet I was beyond stressed. I wasn't sleeping, hardly eating and smoking a lot. Brenda gave me a cigarette on her smoke break the day after Bucky and I had the situation in the bathroom, the day after my cutting incident and ever since, I've been smoking like a chimney. I've been trying to hide it, I didn't want Steve lecturing me about my bad habit, but I needed a vice. I needed something to calm my nerves and since I had been resisting the urge to hurt myself, the cigarettes were the only thing taking the edge off.

I kept looking at my salad and not actually eating it, just pushing the lettuce around in the bowl and wondering how much longer I could keep this up. I had taken on a lot of day shifts and double shifts in order to stay away from the apartment and not have to make excuses as to why I wasn't hanging out. I just wanted to work and ignore it all.

"Gabe...did you hear?!", Brenda asked frantically as she popped her head into the break room.

"What?", I asked her tiredly.

She walked towards me and let out a big sigh. Her fluffy, dark hair bounced as she walked and her lipstick was on her teeth again. It drove me crazy every time I saw it. "Look in the mirror, Brenda.", I thought to myself.

"Okay, so apparently they are making cut backs

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"Okay, so apparently they are making cut backs. I guess the budget is suffering since outpatient is so successful, which is good for patients, but bad for us, meaning that they are letting people go and cutting back on hours. We may not work quite as much. I don't know what I'm gonna do. I have two kids and rent and my shithead of an ex-husband won't shell out child support. I mean I can hardly survive on our pay as it is, but now we might get our hours cut. Like how can they do this?!", she exclaimed.

"I didn't hear about it. I'm surprised Leo didn't tell us.", I said to her.

"That's because I heard from another tech in outpatient.", she said with a frown.

Brenda had an impressive way of knowing everything that was going on in the mental health unit before it happened. She spoke to all the right people and always prepared us for bad or good news. This news wasn't good. I was working doubles a lot and overtime, so I had money saved to live on, but it still sucks to get hours cut when you have bills to pay. I also knew this would mean I would be home more, which means I couldn't avoid Bucky forever. I started to get a knot in my stomach.

Just as I thought I was going to throw my salad across the room, Leo leaned in and he had a very serious look on his face. "Ladies, can I talk to both of you? It's important.", he said. He had a clipboard in his hand, he only carried that around after he excited a staff meeting with the higherups in the hospital.

We both walked to his office quietly, not saying a word. I was exhausted, Brenda was biting her nails.

We walked in and sat down in the leather chairs in front of his desk. Charts filled his desk and there were post-it notes stuck to every surface. He looked angry and sad, I am sure he was about to tell us he was cutting our hours.

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