I sat huddled under a desk, shaking with fear. I hummed my comforting song under my breath, my soulmate song. But this time, the song couldn’t do anything to help stop this oncoming panic attack.
“Morgan? Morgan, are you there?” I heard my best friend calling my name, but I couldn’t get a word out. “Morgan, are you okay?” I heard the voice come nearer, but the person’s footsteps soon receded and I found myself gasping for breath. I looked up at the underside of the desk that I’d been shoved under, and I tried to steady myself with deep breaths. It didn’t help, and I continued to cry. I took short, gasping breaths and tried to call out for help. Nobody heard; I hadn’t gotten enough breath to say the words very loudly. Suddenly the door was locked and the lights were shut off. I looked at the clock on the wall; it was 4:00 and the janitor was probably shutting the school building down for the day. I started to panic more, and I took short gasping breaths.
“Help!” I tried to yell, but it came out as a whisper. “Help…” then I passed out.
I woke up in a hospital bed. The walls were white, the sheets were white, everything was white. I was alone in the room, and the clock on the wall said that it was 7:29 p.m. I had been out for three and a half hours? Usually it was longer than that.
“Miss Crawford, I see that you are awake,” A doctor said, coming into my room.
“Who brought me here?” I asked.
“A young man who claims he found you hiding under a desk,” the doctor said, marking down something on a sheet. “Wouldn’t give us his name, just brought you here and left.”
“What did he look like?” I asked. Maybe I would know him from school.
“Hmm, he was about 5’11”, had sandy blonde hair, and green eyes, and he looked to be about your age,” the doctor said. “Do you know him?” I shook my head. That didn’t match the description of any of the boys at my small private school.
“Did he say if he was going to come back?” I asked.
“He didn’t say a word other than how he found you. I wouldn’t be surprised if you never saw him again.”
I was released from the hospital once my parents (well, step-parents) finally came and got me five hours later.
My mother and father had divorced when I was two, and they both married other people. When my mom and dad both died, my step-mom (previously married to my dad) and her new husband took me in. The living situation wasn’t ideal, and I wasn’t given much attention, but wasn’t that the dream of any sixteen-year-old girl? Apparently, it wasn’t mine, as I had panic attacks if I was ever left alone. My step mom and her husband knew this, but they never paid any attention to it, assuming it wasn’t a big problem.
In our world, there is this thing called our ‘soulmate song’. Every child is born with an original song with original lyrics and an original melody constantly on replay in their mind. This song usually helps to calm a person down, but it’s main purpose is to help the person find their soulmate. People can ignore their song, like my parents did, or they can spend years trying to find the person with the same song on loop in their minds. Many people chose the first option; they didn’t want to waste their life looking for a person with a matching song. When I was younger, I had vowed to myself to find my soulmate because I didn’t want to end up like my parents. Yet I was sixteen and had found nobody with even close to the same song as mine.
The next day at school, I was walking alone through the halls on my way to my first-period class when my best friend, Lucy, came up to me and threaded her arm through mine.
“Where were you last night, Morg? We were supposed to walk home together,” she said.
“I had a panic attack,” I said.
“Oh, no! I’m so sorry Morg, where were you?” she asked, very concernedly.
“I was in room A23,” I said, knowing that telling her the real room I was in would make her feel even worse, as she had passed through room C11, where I really was, when she was looking for me.
“I’m sorry, I was looking for you on the wrong side of the building,” she said.
“It’s fine, Luce. Some stranger found me and took me to the hospital,” I said.
“Oh, good. Who was this stranger?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t see him. But my doctor said he looked about our age with sandy blonde hair and green eyes,” I said.
“Ooooh,” Lucy said, ever the romantic.
“Luce, I’m probably never going to see him again,” I said.
“That’s disappointing, what if he was your soulmate?” Lucy asked. “Speaking of soulmates, I think I found a guy who has the same song as me!”
“Oh really?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. Lucy says this statement almost every day, and I had learned a few years ago not to put any real faith into what she says about her soulmate. “Where?”
“My mom dragged me to the mall last night and I think he was one of the cute salesmen at our favorite store. You know, one of the three that are our age?”
“Cool, Luce. Which one?” I asked.
“The really tall one, with dark hair and blue eyes,” she said dreamily. “I heard him humming and I think it was my song.”
“Why don’t we go to the mall later and ask him about it?” I asked.
“We can’t just walk up to him and ask him what his song is!” Lucy said to me, looking incredulous.
“Cause we just - we just...can’t,” she said. “It’d be weird.”
“And we’re not weird?”
“Fine, we can go and ask him later,” she said, huffing and pulling me to our classroom with seconds to spare.