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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)


My palms were sweating, pressed to my temples trying to block out my thoughts. “Go away, please go away.” I whimpered, barely audible as I rocked back and forth in the corner of the room. My heart wasn’t racing, but it felt like it was going to burst through my ribcage at any moment. I could hear the popping sound of something burning, but there was no fire. I knew this; my mind knew this. So why was I struggling so hard tonight? I could hear my blood rushing, crashing like waves and deafening behind my ears, see it throbbing behind my eyes as it forced painfully through my body. I wanted to die. I wanted it to end. I couldn’t hear myself screaming out in agony, my mind was too loud.

Why were they so loud today? Over the years I had learned to decipher the energy, but some days it was too overwhelming, and I couldn’t contain my own thoughts, let alone everyone else’s. My mind raced: What part was my pain? Why did I feel so angry, so sad, and so scared? I smelled blood.  I startled as I felt something touch my head and I snapped my eyes open, meeting theirs. She stared at me in horror for a split second before regaining composure.

“It’s ok honey, I’m here. It’s ok now”


I dove into her arms, sobbing as she cradled me and caressed my back. She hummed softly into my hair. I filled my lungs with the scent of her; baby powder and a slight sweaty smell, and I drifted into a deep, dreamless sleep.


“Deep breaths. Relax”

“I’m trying” I grumbled under my breath.

We had been at it for hours, and my soul was exhausted. Projecting was easy, but shielding was so difficult for me. It was frustrating that he had learned this skill at such a young age and here I was still battling with the concept of how to make it work.

“Stop thinking about it. It doesn’t come as easily to everyone. You’ll get it, I promise.”

“Get out of my head Josh!” I thought angrily at him.

I hated and loved him equally. I could feel breath on the nape of my neck, and I clenched my teeth as the air caught in my lungs. God, he smelled so good, felt so good. I could feel him rush into every inch of my being, filling me with calmness. He gripped my shoulders tightly and breathed into my ear: “You’ll get it. I know you will. Now, stop thinking about me and concentrate.” I spun and glared into his eyes.


I will never forget those eyes, the deepest ocean blue I had ever seen and hair black as coal. I was six when we had our first spiritual encounter. It was simple and I didn’t understand any of it at the time, but it scared my parents. My mom was certain I was schizophrenic. I saw one after another, but none of the doctors helped me because it wasn’t all in my head.

It would be ten years before I met him in person. Sitting on a park bench I glanced up at the quiet “Hi. Do I know you?” and it all came crashing back like a wave consuming my senses. I sat in awe and confusion as he described my “dream” to me. We spent every moment we could together, and he taught me about this phenomenon that was my life. I was his starving student and satiated my needs through his tiring yet beautiful lessons. Within a few months I learned to feel instead of only sensing emotions. I could feed off energies to charge or change my own. The first night I learned to tap into him was magical. It was like a vat of warmth emitting from my body, searching for his energy. We were only together for a short time before his family swept him back to Florida, but he taught me so much about being an empath in those six months.

With the good came bad. Spiritual entities would find my energy and slip into it as simply as putting on a sock. Overpowering my own emotions and thoughts with their negativity. The sadness and pain were like a weighted blanket that would engulf me.  I couldn’t block it, I never learned how. By practicing this art, I had cracked open my brain, and it was flashing a bright neon “come and get me”. It got so overwhelmingly horrific and unbearable I tried to end it the only way I knew how and swallowed all the feelings with a bottle of Tylenol PM.

When I woke, my parents explained he had called them. Eight years and 3000 miles away, he called begging them to find me because he could feel me fading. I thought he had forgotten me when he left. I could feel the saltiness stinging my eyes as I fought the emotions.

I closed my eyes tight, damming the tears behind my lids, and searched desperately for him. Pushing past crying parents and siblings. Past grief, pain and joy. Stretching myself beyond the limits I had set.

“Josh…” I whispered.

Then, like a blaze igniting in my gut, I could feel him. The memory was familiar, and my pining body sucked it up like a sponge left on the edge of a sink for weeks, then dropped into a bucket of water. I was overcome with peace, sorrow, relief and disappointment and knew I had found him.

“I won’t. I promise!” I cried out into the darkness.

I let his energy wrap through every fiber of my being, shielding me from what I couldn’t. I sighed and relaxed for the first time since I could remember.

I closed my eyes and slipped into the first sleep of my life without a nightmare.


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