“Well. Thank you for that Tom. That was... enlightening.” Mrs. Carla managed in the awkward pause. “Does anyone else have a story they'd like to share with the group?”
“Yeah,” beamed Tom, “It's really liberating!” Mrs. Carla looked around the room, her gaze resting a beat on each of us before brightening on someone across from me.
“Havana! Do you have anything to share tonight?” Havana doesn't like to share, I've seen her at a dozen meetings and she barely ever says three words in a row. But tonight she just nodded. She has the prettiest hair, like waves of black satin. And she always looks so thoughtful.
“I affect magnetic fields.” Havana stared at the gym floor as she spoke, either lost in memory or trying not to be. “Amplify, warp, sometimes disrupt if my head is in the right place. But it used to be really hard to control. I had to learn how it worked.”
I used to have panic attacks. Random innocuous situations and phrases would spin up in my head until a particular tone in someones voice or a specific lull in conversation would become a glaring commentary on my life and the mile-long list of my failings. The sense of being judged would just build up until I couldn't breathe, couldn't think. Then one day the power went out on my block and one of my friends, who had a habit of trailing off when he spoke, went to the hospital. We had been talking about my girlfriend at the time, and some of the anxiety I had about our relationship, when a “freak accident” caused a transformer to overload next to my house and fired an arc at him across the living room.