Deny

No, no no…

 

My class was meant to start 2 minutes ago.

I’m upstairs, fumbling through my bag, ripping through the contents.

Where is it…

I’m aggressively breathing, forcing air through my constricting airway.  I feel flushed, my heart is racing, and hot tears are starting to erupt.

No.

I find my homeopathy tablets and shove some under my tongue.  Breathe, take control.

I feel trapped.  I’m deeply uncomfortable.  I want 5 minutes to go outside and breathe.  I want to walk and keep walking until I get home.  I want to walk straight out of this reality, if it means I can get myself back.  But for now, I have to swallow those needs and do my job.  The only thing I can control right now is my breath.

I crunch through what’s left of the tablets, take a gulp of water, and paste on a smile.  I descend to greet my student, who looks a bit annoyed at being kept waiting.  I’m 5 minutes late.

A thickly sweet voice says, “Thanks for your patience.  Shall we begin our class now?”  A body goes into a classroom.

Me dissolves.  Breath remains.

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