Saturday September 8 2018

My first panic attack

By Nita

I was sitting with my gangos enjoying a much needed drink at the end of the day when my vision strayed to a distant table. I thought the back of one of the diners looked familiar. I kept stealing glances at the back willing it to turn.

Eventually when it turned, my world stopped. For a few seconds I could not breath.

I sat there gasping for air my mouth started to go dry and I found myself having a hard time swallowing. I got up from my chair went to the bathroom because at this point, I felt like I was on the verge of throwing up. However, nothing came up.

My heart pounding, I was sweating as well as feeling cold. So I started taking deep breaths and I noticed my heart rate settling. However, I still could not shake the out-of-body experience I was experiencing. Even more confusing at the time was why I would have such a reaction at the sight of someone I had not seen in almost a decade.

The cause of my first panic attack was my childhood friend. Brenda and I were so close that some people thought we were sisters. The friendship persisted well into our adulthood and into her first marriage and her first divorce.

During those tough post-divorce times, Brenda had nowhere to live so I invited her to come share my home; it was the least I could do. What was supposed to be a temporary stay lasted for two years and it could have gone on had she not decided to cut it short.

See, Brenda is a very stunning woman, she is also funny and loves to party. These qualities make her a man-magnate. I had never met any man who did not fall for her charms. But we had an unspoken agreement; we would never ever date each other’s boyfriends.

It worked until that one time. While hanging out in a casino, we ran into a Manchester United football player. I did not know who he was and was still not interested when he introduced himself.

Brenda on the other hand looked star struck. I knew she was just putting on the act for the poor footballer’s sake who had hoped to impress but got nothing. What it is with men and trying to conquer things.

He decided to treat my indifference as a challenge; buying us drinks and instating on staying with us wherever we went that night. By the time we decided to call it a night, he was begging me to move to England with him, which I of course laughed off.

Brenda promised him she would convince me, so they became partners in that project. I of course lost interest in the whole thing until one evening I went home and Brenda was not there. Her phone was off so I called her mother who delivered the most shocking news. Brenda had left for England.

Later, I discovered that she had stolen my identity to dupe the poor guy.
The discovery was more heartbreaking than the betrayal. I had to go through the whole hustle of reclaiming my identity thanks to my best friend.

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