Older Dreams

She’d felt it coming on, the panic as she sat, fingers tapping against the surface of the desk, flexing in and out as if to leave behind scratches in their wake. Her dull nails made a weak, grating noise that wasn’t quite as horriffic as nails on a chalkboard, but was close.

She could feel it rising, that sharp, violent urge to run, to scream, to just burst with the feeling of it all as she found herself suddenly aware…too aware, really, of her body, of her small little existence in the world that meant nothing, that was always silent, empty, alone.
She could hear the crashing of desks as she bolted from her chair and ran into the hallway, collapsing against the wall with a weak shudder. He wasn’t there. Not this time. There were no classmates’ eyes following her from the room, no desks tipping as he stumbled after her and collapsed at her side, arms curled around her small form. There was no comfort. No smell of dried oranges and sawdust, no warmth of his breath on her cheek.
It was cold. She didn’t know how long she sat there on the floor, staring up at the ceiling as she hugged her knees and counted tiles, waiting for something that would never come. Hours passed, and the light outside the window changed.
Slowly, she stood. Bones cracked and popped as she stretched and walked to the window. The sun was setting on the opposite side, indiscernable save for the burst of colors it cast from behind her, over the few clouds above, lighting them with a haze of golden-pink and orange.
An odd color for winter, she thought.