Shared Empathy – Chapter One

A. via Flickr
A. via Flickr

She burst open the door and ran out of the building, she was in, for the past 4 hours. Without seeing around, she walked straight ahead, her steps fast and hurried. Her heart was beating fast and breaths coming in rapid bursts until she realized that everything was closing in on her and she wasn’t able to breathe. She bowed down, hands on her knees, gasping for air. It just kept on becoming difficult to breathe.

He had come out for a walk, to catch some fresh air, evening walks always helped. He inhaled, taking in the calm of the setting night and the air which was turning cooler. That’s when he heard a sound and  looked in its direction. She looked in a hurry; running from somewhere. It happened very fast; in a matter of seconds, he saw that woman come out of that door and the next second she was on her knees; choking. Guess someone else needs the air tonight he thought and ran towards her.

“Hey, are you okay ??”

She didn’t listen. He was afraid if she didn’t breathe right away she was gonna die in front of him.So, he decided to invade her personal space,”Hey!!”, he touched her shoulder.

She jerked away, obviously baffled by the stranger.

He  lifted his hands in the air,” Don’t worry. I won’t do anything. I think you are having a panic attack. You need to breathe. Take deep breaths okay. Just try concentrating on me. In and out, In and out”, He said mimicking deep breaths.

She finally looked at him and finding no other solution, decided to trust this stranger and followed his advice. It started to work, after 5 to 10 mins her breathing became normal.

When her heart rate became normal and she started to process her surroundings, she realized it was darker than when she entered this building.

“Oh it’s dark now”

“Yeah.. you okay now?”

“Yeah.. yeah, I’m better.. haha”, she tried to cover her meltdown by nervous laughter.

“Oh God I just had the worst panic attack right? It actually happens? I’ve heard people can actually die.”, She babbled on, ashamed by her folly in public.

“I’ve heard that too. Just like I’ve heard you have to concentrate on one thing and it goes away… the panic”. He found this beautifully disturbed person interesting.

“Thank God you had heard that.. haha.”, she said, looking uneasily towards the building.

He followed her gaze and asked, ” Bad memories?” and mentally slapped himself. It wasn’t his business. But he got lucky with the nervous babbler because she didn’t lash out.

“Bad Past. I was always fascinated by the untold secrets, you know the ugly past of the characters in stories.Now, I have one of my own. Karma is a bitch they say!”, she laughed again,”aaand now I have the tendency to overshare too apparently.You must be thinking I’m crazy.. morbid to be exact.”

They were so right , she thought and looked down at the street, it was wet. Did it rain? What the hell am I doing talking to this stranger?

“They do say that!”, He said, forgetting his own worries that were clouding his mind a few minutes ago.

“I should uh… I should go. It’s getting dark..”

He didn’t want her to go. He found this situation having a calming effect on him for some reason.

“Thanks .. though, really “, he heard her as she turned to go in the other direction.

“Hey wait.. don’t go yet”

She stopped and turned around, watching him questioningly.

“I have a bad past too”

19 thoughts on “Shared Empathy – Chapter One

  1. I love the questions raised by this story… the opportunity the reader has to imagine a history and an ending.
    If I was the girl, the guy would probably turn out to be some kind of a weirdo, but I’m not and I prefer to imagine it ending with “happily ever after”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like the start of a great love story! I loved this! ❤ A beautifully written account of a person haunted by her past, but I think everything will be alright for her now 🙂 Wonderful writing, my friend! *high-five*

    Liked by 1 person

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