You collect yourself as well as anyone could hope to, given the circumstances. Mr. McAllister doesn't even look up to acknowlege your departure, and part of you is thankful. You aren't sure you could look him in the eyes, knowing that he has seen you in the most private and embarassing of situations. You turn and head to the elevators. You push the button and wait for the doors to open. Your mind races with possibilities of where the photographs came from. The doors whoosh open and you are relieved to find that the elevator is empty. You load up your personal belongings and make your way as quickly as possible out of the building. Several individuals are returning from lunch. You pull your small cardboard box close to your chest and stare as deeply into the bottom of it as you can and still be able to see where you are going. You avoid any prying eyes that look your way as you rush towards the orange doors. You begin to hear cruel chides emminating from behind you. "Bitch", "Whore", "Slut" and a multitude of others can be heard as you desperately try to escape. Some are muttered under people's breath, others are shouted with a simultanious cough. You hear a couple of groups laughing at your expense and although you don't look up to see them, you can feel a thousand fingers pointing your way. You rush out into the parking lot, focussed on your escape. You place the box on the top of the car and fumble with they key. A couple cars honk and make rude gestures and catcalls before you can slip into your car. You throw the box onto the passenger seat and speed off home.
You walk into the apartment, dropping the box inside the entryway and throwing the manilla envelope on the coffee table next to your favorite chair. You head into the bathroom for an aspirin or ten. You open the mirrored door and stare lifelessly at the rows of various meds. Your eyes fix on an old bottle of pain killers from when you had knee surgery. You've always had a high tolerance for physical pain, but THIS pain is proving to be too much. You open the bottle and pour several into your hand. You throw them in your mouth and chase them with a couple handfuls of water.