I feel that familiar sense of dread creep back into my mind while my heart furiously starts to pump hot blood. I am pulsating and ragged and in conflict with myself and I haven’t the faintest idea why. Maybe there was a trigger in our conversation and I refuse to believe it is one. Am I always going to have this feeling? Do I honestly want to feel this way all the time because somehow, deep down, I don’t believe I deserve happiness and a peace of mind? I am ruminating, ruminating, ruminating and all I can think of is that I am thinking too much and too fast.

I burst through the door with my earphones hastily stuffed into my ears, mellow music ironically blasting and blaring into my eardrums. I walk briskly across the pavement down towards the shuttle because I must get to the last lecture on time. I am sitting down in the shuttle now and no one knows anyone and no one is talking. I keep myself at bay, trying to suck back in hot tears from pouring out. Once or twice I almost fail. Suddenly, the bus driver stops at the second stop. People come pouring in and I hardly notice them as they blur into time-exposure photography—fleeting, indistinguishable, and unreal.

Someone sits next to me. They lean into me absentmindedly and, surprisingly, I welcome it. It’s a comforting pressure that I have always thought was irritating, an invasion of privacy. But now, I miss it. I lean back into them. And thankfully, they don’t mind it either.


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