[11] panic attacks

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Ring! Ring! I woke up groggily to the sound of my phone buzzing quietly next to my pillow. Who the hell is calling me this early?

I lifted the phone with my free hand— my other hand was under my pillow— and checked the called ID. Bang Chan (class president). Why was he calling me? Suddenly, I was wide awake as I bolted upwards, my eyes squinting at the screen. Fuck my bad eyesight.

I was still pretty sure that it was Chan calling... But why? Without another thought, I picked up. "Hey, Chan," I muttered quietly. Who knew what would happen if my mom saw me calling a boy at night?

"NABI?" Chan screamed frantically through the phone, and I lowered the phone's volume. "ARE YOU THERE? ARE YOU ALRIGHT?" His breathing was uneven and rushed, as though he couldn't catch his breath. Could it be a panic attack?

"Yes, Chan, I'm alright. Nothing happened to me. Are you okay? What happened?" I replied, rushing through my words. What had happened? The Aussie's uneven breathing continued, and I could hear laboured breaths. Shit. "Chan, stay with me," I commanded. "Let's breathe together, okay? Take a breath in"— I took in a ridiculously large breath— "And breathe out." It continued for a few more minutes, and Chan's breathing finally evened out.

"I'm sorry," he told me hoarsely. "I didn't mean to—"

I cut him off. "There's nothing to be sorry about. Was that a panic attack?" He hummed quietly in response, all the energy drained out of him. "That's okay. It could happen to anyone. I'm glad you called me."

I could hear Chan's weak smile as he replied gratefully, "Thank you. Most people don't know what to do."

It's not like I wanted to know, Bang Chan. But you learn these sorts of things when your best friend also has panic attacks. But can I even call her my best friend anymore if she's dead?

"If anything like this ever happens again, call me, yeah?" I said.

"Thank you, Nabi," he repeated, and I smiled to myself. Even though I had only recently met him, there was something about Chan that just felt familiar.

"It was nothing. Go to sleep now, okay Channie? I'll stay here until you fall asleep."

I could hear him mutter another quiet "thank you" as I heard the sheets ruffling through the phone. I, too, snuggled into my bed and grabbed my wolf plushie to cuddle with. "Good night, Channie," I whispered into the darkness, knowing he heard me through the phone.

I didn't mean to fall asleep— I was going to end the call after Chan fell asleep, but I was so tired that I ended up falling asleep anyways, the soft sound of Chan's breathing echoing through the room. 

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