The weight presses down on my shoulders, as I struggle to stumble forward. At this point, I want to curl up into a ball and just… Well…
I can imagine that anyone watching me would assume that my body was just randomly failing – no visible reasons for such a dramatic demise.
‘Are you okay?’ Pete quietly asks from somewhere to my left.
‘Give me a minute,’ I huff, stopping and putting my palms on my slightly bent knees.
‘You should really…’ he begins.
‘Give. Me. A. Minute. Okay?!’
‘Alright!’ he puts his hands up in surrender, though obviously disgruntled at the admonition.
Once I had regained my breath, I slowly straightened.
‘Kate…’ he started again, ‘You should really do something about that. You don’t have to bear the weight of all this on your own.’
‘I’m fine,’ I mumble.
‘You’re obviously not.’
‘I’m fine. I can do this. It’s just a bit of stress. I can handle it.’
The ball, somewhere in my lungs, tightens again; it takes on the air that I am desperately trying to inhale.
‘I’ve got a lot going on,’ I choke out.
Pete chuckles, ‘You always have a lot going on.’
My frown slowly transforms into a half-smile.
‘Yeah, well,’ I shrug, ‘Life is full of shit.’
We continue walking. The ball in my lungs isn’t quite gone but Pete’s rapid transgression to the pros and cons of Pokemón Go has me distracted enough to make it manageable.
‘It’s not all shit, though,’ Pete abruptly swerved the conversation again, ‘right?’
‘No,’ I smile, taking his hand, ‘not all of it.’