8 Chapter 8: Breathe...

"Rei? Are you not going to say something? Anything?" I knocked on the table to get his attention, but he kept his head down, I saw a slight movement of his shoulders, then he let out a deep sigh.

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"Listen kid... I, uhm, I found something," he paused for a minute, then directed his gaze at me with worry in his eyes. "I am so sorry, but it is a dead end... No more leads, even small ones. We need- No, I need to start again. You know, Ava, I-"

"No! Have you double checked everything? Maybe there is something that, that you, that you have missed! It has to be! Rei...," please tell me you're joking!

Rei gave me a faint smile that I do not want to see...

I closed my eyes shut, combed my hair with my fingers, and feel all that disappointment, and how high did I just fell into because of a single spark of hope that everything is going to work out!

I took a deep breath, and another one, and then another one... until my lungs felt like it's tightening, I can't! I can't-, "R-Rei..." I grasp his shirt as tight as I could, my strength is all in my hands, and my mind is all over the place! My eyes are, are forced to shut down. I can't- "I-, Hai can-, I can't breathe, Rei!" All I can do is yell it as loud as a whisper... I can't... Help me, I can't breathe!

"Ava, breathe! You're okay! Let it go! Stop thinking about what I said, and think about something else! Good things, happy things Ava! Sh*t!" I felt something tightly holding my hand and it feels cold, "Okay, you've been through this! I am here! Okay?! Come on, kid!"

I felt something hammering my back; I can hear Rei's voice but it is faint. I can see his blurry face mouthing some words but I can't understand what he is saying... "Ava!" ... then darkness came slowly swallowing all of my consciousness. I feel like I am dying... I feel like all of the air in my system is being suctioned... I can't breathe.

Next thing I know... I am all alone again... I woke up without anyone but myself. I sat on my bed, folded my legs, and hug them. I am temporarily out of my mind for hours... staring at nothing... thinking about nothing...

A sudden chime came from my phone, I averted my droopy and tired eyes to find a message from Rei.

/From: R

5:56 pm

Ava, I don't want to leave you, but I have to do the drill... or else you will kick me out again. I know you told me you wanted to be alone after your panic attacks, but at least tell me you're okay. Text me! AND! And, zdo not do something stupid. Do not do anything, I beg you! I will be the one to take care of it. I promise. TEXT ME! /

I tossed my phone at my side and got up, I shook my head and sprinted to the bathroom and washed my face to wake myself up... "I really hate you," the girl reflected in the mirror said. "No more panic attacks. I told you... not ever again."

If Rei's investigation is a dead end, fine! I'll just have to find a new way... If I can't, then I will make one!

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