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By @CoriBlack

Broad Daylight

Usually I don’t go outside, my roommate does. But today she was at work and wanted me to get groceries. So here I am. Walking down the sidewalk. Grocery bags in hand. In broad daylight.

I began to feel panicky as soon as I stepped out of my small apartment, and that’s why Milly, my roommate, always got the groceries. . . But I don’t think she knows this, she always thought I was just too stubborn and introverted to go outside and interact with other human beings. Well, she’d be wrong, unfortunately. She was right about me being an introvert, if it makes her feel any better, but as for being stubborn? Well, no. I was always for submissive if anything. The real reason I rarely see the light of day is because of my paranoia, anxiety, PTSD–Post Traumatic Stress Disorder– and most of all, my panic attacks. I start to interact will someone, anyone, and it will start off fine, but then I get fidgety, and they always seem to notice. That’s when I start to become twitchy and panicky, and they always just stand there, as if paralyzed. After about half a minute of that, I break out into full out panic. I hyperventilate and begin to cry, why I cry I’m not sure.

Eventually, everyone leaves me there to cry on my own. Which I’m still not sure whether I like or not, I mean sure, it’s lovely to have quiet after all that, but I would still love someone to actually help me. But no one ever does. The only person that I haven’t had a panic attack with was Milly. She had this mother like aura about her that made you feel safe, she even had that mother voice. Milly had always kind of reminded me of my mother, who had passed away in my early childhood due to Cancer, but I know she’s watching me from the stars.

My thought train runs into a brick wall as I fall to the ground with a heavy thud. Everything around me is spinning as I hear faint words, but they soon fade into my head.

“Oh my, I’m so, so sorry miss!” The voice seemed to be male, but higher pitched. I feel an almost gentle hand grab mine and tug lightly, pulling my frail body off the ground. I open my eyes, which I hadn’t realized I had closed, and I see a pale male in his mid-twenties, or seemed to be. His hair was a dark, chocolate brown and his eyes a lighter color of the same shade. His hair made him almost look like a hobbit, which I internally laughed at.

Then it hit me like a plane.

I was being touched.

By another human being other than Milly.

Internal panic began at the pit of my stomach, then rose into my chest and throat, holding words in my mouth like water. My breathing begins to become shaky as the stranger fully lifts me off the sidewalk, he then turned his head to the side slightly, as if confused.

“Miss?” He asks, his voice almost sounding. . . Worried. But I couldn’t respond, all I could do was pull away and shake. Like a deer in headlights. Like a stray dog with their tail between their legs. Like a fish out of water.

Like everyone else, the man stood there. Tear began to burning into the corners of my wide, caramel eyes. This seemed to snap the man out of his trance of sorts, and soon he took my hand and pulled me into an alley-way, which made me panic more. I began whimper, whispering things that even I didn’t know. But then he did the unexpected.

The man sat down and pulled me with him, sitting on the dirty alley ground. He looks at my wide eyes and begins to rub my knuckles with his thumb, making me flinch. It was almost as if he had done this before, or he had trained in this type of thing, because he looked so. . . Sure of himself. The man gingerly smiles, as if to tell me I wasn’t in any danger, but I couldn’t help but feel that I needed to be out of there as quickly as I could. It felt so. . . Unnatural. To have someone actually help me, it wasn’t right. I scramble back and presh myself into the bricks opposite the man, he lets out a solemn sigh with a sad, almost disappointed, look in his chocolate eyes. But he kept that ginger smile on his face as he left.

Oh thank God, he left. . .

I lay down, not even caring anymore that I was in this filthy alley, and close my eyes, letting the warm and salty tears flow down my face as sleep crept up on me.

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