“PLEASE, HONEY, JUST TELL ME what’s the matter,” Mom pleaded softly with concerned eyes. She sat in front of me on a chair with the door shut and everyone else outside it, waiting to see if I was okay. I wasn’t.
Some creature that had taken me hostage was shaking me like doll from the inside out. I was, once again, freezing in the heat of the night from sweat coating me like I’d just taken a bath. All I could do was stare unblinking into the space in front of me, my hands iron fists gripping the edge of the mattress, like I might tumble into oblivion if I let go. My hair was plastered to my face and the back of my also-soaking shirt, and I couldn’t breathe right. It felt like someone had shoved a rolled-up sock down my throat and I was gasping uncontrollably. My heart was doing jumping jacks and somersaults. I was sure I’d drop down dead from a heart attack any second now.
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