I'd been having panic attacks when I went out--which is fine, because I stopped going out. I had so many projects to work on, and finally I had the time to deal with them. But she'd been pestering me about it. Oh, she pretended she's concerned, that she wanted to help, but she clearly didn't understand. This was about her, and I was tired of it. After a few days of it seeing her would set me off, then hearing her voice. After that we communicated with emails--and even then I ignored most of hers. I had things to be doing and she was only distracting me.

It was perhaps a week since I'd had any contact with the outside world when she came over unexpectedly. I cowered in the corner, clutching at my work--the work she'd no doubt come to destroy. She touched my hand, and the nauseating scraping of skin on skin nearly made me vomit. Her voice rang like thunder in my ears. She burned like the sun, dazzling my eyes until I could see nothing else.

For what seemed like hours there was nothing but her presence. Then I found myself blinking in the daylight, throngs of people walking by as if it was no big deal. A park of some sort, then. No sign of her, no sign of my work, no idea where I was.

Someone caught my eye and smiled. My heart started to pound, sure the attacks would come back, but nothing came. I smiled back. The world kept spinning.

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