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good advice

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Lauren is in a hurry. She has put herself on a double shift again.

On purpose.

She first planned to skip a meal, but knows that's not healthy so wants to stop by the store anyway. 
So that's why she rushed. 

She had to be at Mount Zion within an hour. She knows old habits, bad habits. She just never really gets around to it today. She wants distractions so much distractions that her head explodes. 


Leyla is also in a hurry she also does double shifts, actually she can't call them shifts anymore. Day and night she drives her car as a driver. For her it is not a distraction, it is survival. 
She feels she has earned a short break and hears her stomach rattle. She knows she hasn't actually earned enough for a proper meal today, but she's really really hungry so decides to go to the store anyway. 


The two women both enter the store in a hurry. Lauren rushes past Leyla. She didn't even notice the woman, so caught up in the trance of work, of distraction. Leyla in contrast is startled by the flash of a shadow past her. She looks past her and sees a small woman with wavy brown hair storming around the store as if it were her last hours. She rolls her eyes, some people really don't care about others and this woman was a perfect example. 

Meanwhile Lauren is still preoccupied with her own thoughts. Not thinking about Adderall not thinking about pills, ,not thinking about all that pain, not thinking about your sister, mom, dad just not thinking. She runs on autopilot to the pre-prepared meals. 


Leyla also makes her way over to where Lauren stands. She can't really cook fresh in her car herself so she'll have to. She looks at all the sandwiches, salads and pastas in the refrigerator, but everything is so expensive. She stares and stares, she's so hungry but knows it's a stupid idea to do.  

Lauren wants to quickly grab something from the fridge it doesn't matter what as long as it, is something of food. Yet the thoughts slow her down. It's like she can't function properly anymore. 

Both women are standing next to each other in the refrigerator full of meals. Both have an error in their minds. Both are worried about very different things or are they? Maybe they need the same thing more than they think. 

Lauren sighs and finally takes something without looking. Totally in her own world and without seeing Leyla she wants to walk on to get something to drink, but she bumps into Leyla. 
'That's the second time already. You're not alone in the store here.' Mutters Leyla irritated more at the situation than at Lauren herself. 
She expects the woman to take drinks and continue hustling to the checkout when she finally does look at her.  

'Oh, sorry. I'm a little absent today.' Filled with guilt, Lauren looks at the other woman who is looking at the food with hungry eyes. 
'I understand.' Mutters Leyla whose head is not exactly very present either. Her head is on a meal that she unfortunately cannot afford. She decides then, but to go outside again and fill her empty bottle that is still in the car of water at a tap somewhere. 

"Hey! Aren't you taking anything? Lauren feels more alert and notices that the woman is not taking anything to eat even though she has been standing here for a while. 
Leyla is startled by the other woman's sudden alertness. She shrugs and wants to continue walking when her stomach starts to growl. 

'Your stomach is telling you you're hungry otherwise.' Lauren follows the woman closely to the cash register. 

Leyla walks out of there without even paying attention to Lauren who is left speechless at the checkout with a pre-prepared meal and a bottle of water in her hands. 


Leyla lets herself fall down in her car. Tears are in her eyes as she is annoyed by the sound of her own stomach. She curses herself and the crappy situation she is in. She knocks her hand on the car steering wheel in frustration. After venting all her anger on her car steering wheel, she sighs and is startled a moment later by knocking on her window. Her heart is pounding and she expects some strange guy to want something from her again. That happens more often than not. Anxiously she looks through her window. That fear quickly turns to surprise when she sees the woman from the store again. 

'Hey.' Mutters Lauren when she sees the other woman lower her window.  'I huh thought you were hungry.' She smiles and reaches out to Leyla for a bottle of water and a sandwich. It automatically makes her stomach growl louder. Still, she shakes her head. 'Thanks, but it's not necessary I can take care of myself.' She sighs and watches Lauren try to push the sandwich through the small slit window.

'Hey that's not how it goes!' irritated Leyla knocks on the window. 'I did hear your stomach growling though.' Lauren looks in through the slit of the window. She immediately notices the extra sheets and pillow in the car. 

When Leyla realizes that the woman is staring into her car for a long time she closes the window completely. 
"Hey! Lauren knocks again. Sighing, Leyla decides to open the window again anyway. She looks at the woman for a while. She looks so different from the one in the store. She looks like she really cares this time.

She sees her. 

'Please take this food and drink. After that, I'll leave you alone.' Lauren reaches for the sandwich and water for a second time. 
'I'm not a charity case.' Leyla rolls her eyes. 

'Then think of it as a small favor.' Lauren smiles sheepishly. 
'I don't even know your name.' Laughs Leyla ironically. 

'I'm Lauren.' She extends her arm with the sandwich. 
Leyla stares at Lauren in amazement. 'She's got guts...'

'Come on...' Lauren taps her feet on the floor impatiently. 
'Okay then.' Leyla sighs and wants to grab the sandwich when Lauren pulls it away. 

"Huh? Leyla wants to shamefully close her window again when Lauren starts laughing. 
'In exchange for your name.' Lauren grins. 

'Leyla.' She takes the sandwich and tries to smile. 
'Thanks.' She immediately rips open the package and begins to eat. 
'You haven't seen decent food in a long time.' Lauren sounds concerned again. 

'Oh huh. Do you want to come sit in the car otherwise? You're still holding food too?' Leyla ignores the comment and points to the packet of pasta in Lauren's hands. 
'I huh actually have to go.' Lauren looks at her phone. 'Shit' she still has, only 10 minutes no way she will make it on time on foot and for a cab she will have to wait too long. 

'I huh drive for drive time. If you want I'll drop you off.' There is a smile. 
Lauren looks at the woman in her car enjoying her food. She notices her friendly eyes, it attracts her. So she nods gently. 
'Get in.' 

Lauren gets in from the back and Leyla asks her where she should be. 
'Mount Zion.' Mutters Lauren. 

'You're a doctor there?' Leyla suddenly sounds interested.
'No, I work at the New Amsterdam hospital. I'm doing a shift there today.' Lauren doesn't look up or down. She feels caught out. 

'You work in 2 hospitals?' Leyla starts the engine and starts driving.  
'Sort of.' Lauren glosses over the fact that she has actually worked in 4 at a time. 

Lauren yawns with fatigue. She'd better rest, but does everything for the distraction. 
'You look tired like this is going to be your second shift or something!' laughs Leyla, but from seeing Lauren's uncomfortable face she quickly realizes that her joke is reality. 

'Is this really your 2nd shift?' With wide eyes, Leyla looks through the rearview mirror. 
'Yes.' Mutters Lauren. 

'That's not allowed at all.' Leyla stops the car. 
'Hey what are you doing now! And by the way what do you know!' Shouts Lauren and looks at Leyla cheekily. 
'Don't yell! I've been a doctor myself. So I know more than you think.' Rushes Leyla back. 
Lauren gets quiet about it.
'Sorry I guess.' 
'You think? Leyla chuckles. 

'Where was your doctor? Lauren ignores the smiling Leyla. 
'Pakistan.' Leyla says no more, her smile disappearing. 

' I didn't mean to...' Lauren tries to excuse herself when Leyla stops her. 
'It's okay I'll drop you off. It's none of my business. 

Leyla drives on, after a long silent drive not daring to make any eye contact the car stops in front of Mount Zion hospital. 
'Thank you.' Mutters Lauren, leaving money on the back seat. 
'Hey, you don't have to! You've helped enough already!' But Lauren has already closed the door. 

When Leyla wants to leave again she is startled by the passenger door flying open. 
'Does that offer to eat together in your car still apply?' Lauren is already standing at the car, panting.

She wanted to go into the hospital really, but realized that Leyla was indeed right. It's anything but a good idea. 

'Yeah, but your shift then?" leyla points with her chin towards the big private hospital her car is in front of. 
'Huh that's their problem .' Lauren rolls her eyes and gets in. 

'Okay , then.' Leyla grabs her sandwich and takes another big bite of it. 
'Bon appetit.' She smacks. 

'Bon appetit.' Says Lauren without taking a bite of her pasta.

She is too distracted by this special woman and her beautiful eyes full of good advice that Lauren should take much more often.