By @CoriBlack

PTSD, Anxiety, Paranoia, and Panic Attacks. How could Kially Jatson get over this? Would this person finally help her? Or leave her to Panic?

Chapter 2

Hearts and Hands

My heavy eyelids try to pry themselves open, but they wouldn’t. But soon that was the least of my concerns. I felt warm. Why do I feel warm? Oh, what happened while I was out? Did the man come back? Did he. . .? I can’t even say it, I don’t want to. . . But, he seemed too, how do I describe it, empathetic to do that. I move my hand away from my face and to my abdomen, then my breath hitches as I feel a soft fabric, like a blanket. My eyes pry themselves open finally, I scramble out of the warmth of the blanket and held myself against the surface I was on.

That’s when I noticed. . .

I wasn’t in the alley anymore. I didn’t recognize the place at all. I look down at my lap, I was in the same clothes. I suddenly felt dirty, being in the same clothes. I look around the room, it was monochrome with black, white, and grey. I looked to be situated on a sofa, in which was a light baby blue. I saw pictures hanging above a mantel, a small fire going under. That must be part of the reason I was so warm.

My thoughts soon begin to trail, my head following. I look behind me, finding that the couch was propped against a wall. On the other side of the room there was a staircase going up, making me more curious. I had this urge to stand up and explore, but something in my gut told me that would be the death of me. My curiosity took over and I slowly stand, only to hear an almost laugh, more of a chuckle. I yelp and stumble over my own feet, only to fall on the soft, grey carpet, wide eyed.

“Oh! Did I startle you? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. . .” I look behind me and see the man from before. I feel like water made its way into my lungs and filled up the cavities. I couldn’t say anything, I felt paralyzed. My mouth opens and closes over and over, as if I was trying to find the right words. I eventually close my eyes and inhale deeply.

“It’s okay! I’m just. . . E-easily startled,” I mumble, barely audible to even myself, but the stranger apparently heard it because he smiles gingerly, again, and his chocolate brown eyes seem to light up.

“I’m gl–. . . Uh, sorry.” The stranger suddenly looks down and rubs the back of his neck.

That’s when I realize he’s shirtless.


I look down too, suddenly feeling heat rush to my face. Sitting back down on the sofa, I sink into myself.

“I-I’ll be r-right back!” The stranger rushes out the words, and I hear footsteps quickly go up the stairs. Holding onto my knees, I pull them to my chest. I feel scared. I feel confused. I feel wrong. I feel filthy. I feel worthless. I feel like I need to just run away and dig myself a ditch. I don’t know why. I just do. Feeling tears burn into my eyes, I rub my eyes harshly.

Hearing running footsteps come down the stairs I pull my caramel eyes up and look at him, he gives a small smile and holds out his left hand, then fumbles and awkwardly holds his right hand out.

“Hi. My name is Jack.”

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