Struggling to Breathe
Chapter SixThat night, I lay on my bed. As soon as I finished my homework, I took out my MacBook and opened the browser up to Facebook. I hadn’t been on since before the night that everything happened, and I had a bunch of friend requests and notifications.
As I clicked through all of them, accepting, denying, commenting, and liking as fit, a chat message popped up. I looked down, and was surprised to see Marcus’s name!
“Hey” read the message.
I panicked on what to reply. Hey, with one y, or two y’s, or three? Or maybe hi? No, that was lame. Why was I worrying about this? He was just my friend, and nothing more.
“Heyy :) “ I replied back.
We ended up talking for hours, about everything. We hadn’t talked since 8th grade, so we caught each other up on everything that had been happening in our lives. He was on the football team now, he told me proudly. And I told him I was on newspaper and the volleyball team. Then, he asked me something odd.
“do you have a boyfriend?” he typed.
“umm... lol no” I replied, too shocked to reply anything else.
We continued to talk after that, and I asked him about his summer. He told me funny stories of him and his friends over the summer, and how they had gone bridge jumping every day. But, then he asked me something that I just couldn’t bear to answer, or even think about.
“how was ur summer? do anything fun??”
As the message popped up, my brain recalled up images of the summer that I cared not to ever think about again. Flashes of that awful night played on a never ending loop in my brain, and the room started to spin as I gasped for breath. This was the worst panic attack I had ever experienced, definitely.
A second chat message popped up from him as I tried to regain control.
“haha too many illegal things to type over the internet? You know, anything you say will be counted against you in court ;)”
Oh god, I thought to myself. He’s way too close to the actual truth, even if he’s just joking.
“g2g bye” I typed out as fast as I possibly could, and then closed out of the browser quickly. I hated to take the risk of hurting his feelings, especially when he asked if I had a boyfriend, which gave some indication of him liking me.
“No, I’m over analyzing this. I need to breathe. “ I told myself out loud as I opened the door to the little balcony overlooking the flowerbeds in the back yard.
The night air was chilly and brisk. The wind slipped under my sleeves and sent a shiver down my spine as I leaned over the balcony and took a big, deep breath in. The panic I had felt earlier drifted away, and I sat down on the wood floor of the balcony. I leaned through the door to grab my camera, a Canon Rebel that had sat untouched for a while. I lost my passion for photography a while ago.
I switched the camera on, and the first picture that came up was one of me and Lauriston from that night. We looked so excited, so grown up. It was so weird how much things had changed just a few hours after that.
I pondered throwing the camera off the edge. I didn’t need any more reminders of that night; flashbacks and panic attacks certainly were enough. Instead, I adjusted the lens as I focused in on my feet. I pressed gently on the button, and a soft light erupted out of the flash, illuminating my toes and turning them yellow.
I went back inside, and grabbed my MacBook off of the floor. I plugged my sim card into the adapter, and waited for the picture to load.
As it popped up onscreen, I examined it. It struck me that my feet looked unsure, almost tentative, like they didn’t know where to go.
I opened up my browser again, inspired. I went to my tumblr, and opened up a new picture post. I attached the picture, and then typed in a caption.
I don’t know where to go
Who to tell
Who to trust with my secret
The guilt is eating me slowly alive
And I don’t know how much longer I can take it
I clicked post, and felt a lot better. Maybe taking pictures was another way to cope with all my panic attacks, I thought to myself as I tagged the post as secrets and guilt. If I had to tag my life right now, that’s what I would have chosen too: secrets and guilt.