The Aftermath

My pulse finally slows when I see you making your way towards me. I don’t want you to see me like this. I’m all sweaty and dizzy from the freak out I just had; I can’t even remember what it was about. I consider running away, not allowing you to see how icky I really am, because I’m sure that I look better from across the room. But I’m not feeling well enough, so I just wait for you to finally meet up with me.

Now you’re right next to me, wrapping me in your arms. I collapse in them, worn out and sad that I succumbed to my anxiety in such a public place. I can always go to the school nurses, but they might accuse me of lying, or inducing a panic attack, since I have a math test last period. I don’t want to be judged by them today; they do it too often. It isn’t like I don’t have a problem.

I’m crying now, because I can feel your disappointment. I had promised you this morning that I wouldn’t have an episode today because of the test. Technically, I didn’t break my promise, because it wasn’t about the test. I would tell you what it was about except I still can’t remember.

You ask me if I’m okay, but I don’t reply. My mouth is too dry, like a desert. So instead, I nod, even though I know I’m not. It’s still hard to breathe and I’m shaking a little. But it’s fine, because now that you’re here, my symptoms are beginning to go away.

You kiss my forehead, and lead me to a bench. Sitting down helps with the wooziness, and I thank you for placing the idea in my head.

I wish you didn’t have to take care of me like this. I even tell you so. But you say it doesn’t matter, because you’re my older brother; it’s what you’re supposed to do. I’ve seen you yell at people for me and protect me, but I’ve also seen an uglier side to our relationship. Sometimes, I’ll go to tell you that Mom wants you to do something, or to ask a question, and I’ll find you crying. You don’t even try to hide it; there’s snot flowing from your nose, and tears all over your face.

And I know you’re crying over me.





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