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Thanks,
Patricia

Briefly

[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« DinnertimeDepravity »
Panic Attack

She was torn from sleep suddenly and out of breath.  Awake, she inhaled deeply but the air refused to fill her lungs.  Breath after short breath failed to satisfy her need.  She struggled to the bathroom, feeling tipsy from the lack of air.  She wondered if she was having a heart attack.  The pain in her chest was exactly what she imagined a heart attack would feel like.  She waited anxiously for other symptoms, but they didn’t appear.  With her body shaking and breaking into a cold sweat, she turned on the bathroom lights—the 6 huge bulbs illuminated the paleness of her skin.  She stared at her face in the mirror, trying desperately to understand why this was happening. But she only saw angles and shapes. Her face had no meaning or reason and did not belong to her.  The confusion in the eyes increased her fear and clouded her thoughts.

The pain in her chest spread to her stomach and her fingertips started tingling.  She watched the tears streaming down her face; it was like watching a stranger cry.  She was detached enough to understand that she was having another panic attack, but the complete despair she was feeling this time finally took her down to the floor.  They had never been this bad before; all the other times she’d been able to control them.  The dry sobs tearing her throat apart threatened to wake him up and she couldn’t let that happen.  How would she explain?  She grabbed a towel and shoved it against her open mouth, trying to muffle the cries.  Biting into the white cotton, she jammed herself into a corner, feeling the coldness of the tile seeping into her skin.  With a weak arm she closed the door so he wouldn’t hear her crying.  She laid her head on her knees, wrapped her arms around her head, anticipating the crash.

The efforts to silence her cries shook her body and her tears drenched the towel.  No matter how tightly she hugged herself, she just couldn’t close up the all consuming void deep within.  After what seemed like years, she again tried to regain control of her breathing, inhaling deeply, trying to get the air past her throat.  In between sobs, she laughed, thinking about the pathetic nothing she’d allowed herself to become. —Stupid!  Idiot!—ran through her head on 20 foot screens.  When the worst of the attack had passed, she grabbed onto the sink, needing it to pull herself up, her legs groaning in protest, her knees cracking into place.  She leaned into the mirror and stared into her bloodshot eyes, wondering what had brought this on.  After washing her face, she sat on the toilet until she had calmed down. She opened the bathroom door and walked into the dark bedroom. She silently made her way over to the bed.  Standing over him, she watched his body rising and falling with every peaceful breath.  He was so close; so why was she so alone?

Published 09/01/02 in Writing • | Views: 1745 times | Print

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