Miss Aida
The last of the important exams are over. Sweet relief. The week has been one of exhaustion, of little sleep and long hours, and now that I have reached the pinnacle of what I have been striving towards, I am all too ready to collapse back into the life of a irrespnsible, wild child I sometimes crave as I stare dreamily into the skies. At least for the moment, until I run this panicked other self of mine to the ground. She's been working too hard and deserves to be set free.

Too hard is when you become an almost daily occupant of the library for the large portion of the day.

Too much is when you cannot recall the last time you went out with someone without the intention of studying.

Too difficult it four days of exams back to back, where I am mentally worn out each day again and again, without sufficient study time.

Exams are like my chronic disease. It's a disease that ravages my mind. I acted in ways I normally wouldn't, with natural optimism slowly replaced by sarcasm, the quicker rise to anger, the tired smiles and the quick breakdown. Last night, studying for the most important paper of the semester, I experienced my first panic attack.

There was so much riding on the paper, and for some reason my mind latched on to that, and the dire consequences of failure. My attempts at regurgitating my previously learnt knowledge set me against brick walls, and my panic intensified. I was on the brink of a major meltdown.

Thankfully, James noticed my increasing state of stress. I don't know what I would have done had he not been there. My internal locus of control was slowly failing, but he was there to talk me through it. I have no idea how he picked up the fact that I was slowly spiralling out of control, but he somehow realised that the situation was more serious than it seemed.

For the first time in ages, he offered to relieve my obvious tension by the only way he deemed best - he offered me a massage. To which I accepted gratefully. And for the first time ever, he walked me home from the library despite the fact that he lived a good half hour in the opposite direction, realising that I probably shouldn't be left alone with my thoughts.

Now I think about it, I thank him for the concern. Thank you for caring. Thank you for almost holding my hand and guiding me through that particularly rough patch, for giving comfort to that small scared child I felt like.

I barely slept that night, my hypersensitive state giving that added edge of alertness. It was one of those rare nights where Iyra and I talked to the early hours of the morning. Just like those late night talks girlfriends have late nights during sleepovers, where there no longer are any secrets, and you feel like you can talk about anything and everything. So we did.

It made no difference to me waking up on two hours of sleep for an exam. The morning was rainy. It seemed to match my mood perfectly, the sense of impending doom. I wish I could step out into the rain and have it wash my worries away, but playing in showers during the freezing temperatures of winter wasn't high on my list of things to do.

But I wished I could. At least it's all over now.

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