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The heat of the summer was absolutely unbearable-the air was so dense that it stuck to my skin as it was a solid being, choking me. I pulled at my collar, stretching the cotton, desperate to get any amount of cool air to coat my skin. My own touch burned my skin, leaving an invisible mark right under my collarbone. Every inhale felt like I was stuck underwater, the humidity overwhelming my lungs and face, making tiny beads of sweat run down my spine.

A day in July like this was stifling, to say the least.

I opened the window, but living in an apartment in one of the busiest streets of the city only made my situation worse. The city kept the heat in, as if it was cursing us for creating such tall towers, brimming with people.

Cars honked relentlessly, voices drifting up through the window and into my ears. It suddenly felt too loud, like every screech of tires and mixed voices was pounding into my head, drilling into my skull like some type of sickening melody. I left the window, but it didn’t make the cacophony any less loud.

I tried to focus on the wall, as pale as my clammy hands. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried again, but it was no use. Ghost-like colors danced on the wall, shifting and moving like intangible insects.

Too many people, too many conversations mixed into a noxious cocktail... I couldn’t stop it. Shutting the window would just make the scorching heat even worse, but leaving it open felt like people were inside my head.

I squeezed my eyes shut again and covered my ears, trying to push the noise out, to maybe drown it out with my own heartbeat, buzzing in my chest. I pressed the heel of my hands into my temples as dull pain flared in my brain. Stop, I pleaded.

Stars danced behind my eyelids, my stomach twisting painfully. The bile and nausea rose so fast as rushed to the bathroom. Bare feet hit the wooden floor as I gasped for breath, practically lunging for the seat. I barely made it as I threw up back whatever food I ate this morning.

The sting of vomit made my eyes fill up with tears. I gagged again, clutching the toilet seat like it was my last lifeline. A thin sheen of sweat covered my forehead, some mixing in with my tears, dropping into the toilet.

My stomach was empty, my shoulders ached, my hands were clammy. I dropped into the floor and waited for it to stop.

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28 Jan, 2021
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