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Itchy Throat

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The constant itching seemed like small, determined fingers grabbing at the back of her throat. Although Mary had previously suffered allergies, this was not one of them. Her throat protested with every swallow, making it feel like she was swallowing sandpaper. It began as a faint tickle that could be easily ignored amid the bustling office noise, but now it was demanding attention vehemently.She shifted in her seat and tried to concentrate on the spreadsheet she had open. Her mind was having trouble focusing as the numbers danced over the screen and blended together. Her colleagues, unaware of her pain, talked among themselves.Thinking to herself, "Maybe a glass of water will help," she reached for the mostly empty bottle on her desk. The chilly liquid relieved the itching momentarily, but the irritation soon reappeared, stronger than before. It felt like she had been screaming for hours at a concert in her throat. The sound of her dry, raspy cough reverberated around the quiet office. People turned to look at her with concern. "Are you alright, Mary?" Peering over the wall of her cubicle, Sarah from accounting questioned. Mary managed to mumble out, "Just a scratchy throat," and forced a grin.With a worried expression, Sarah nodded and went back to her job. With a sigh, Mary wished she could just melt into her cozy bed and forget about the prying eyes and constant itching. Mary struggled with her betraying throat for hours on end. She tried everything, including hot tea, honey, and throat lozenges, but nothing gave her long-lasting relief. The itching remained, a never-ending reminder of her body's deceit. Mary was worn out at the end of the day, her throat hurt, and her patience was running low. As she trudged to her car, she said goodbye to her coworkers, their voices muted in her ears.It was a long and painful drive home, with every pothole causing sharp pains to shoot through her exhausted frame. At last she reached her haven and threw herself onto the couch, breathing a sigh of relief. She wondered what was causing this constant itching as she nestled up behind a warm blanket. Was there something more sinister, like allergies or a stubborn cold? For now, all she could do was sleep and pray that the much-needed respite would arrive tomorrow.