You are ice, you are steel, you are a ball of blood-rusty thorns, you are a wild incoherent scream, you are eviscerated; you dig your fingernails into your palms and you don’t even tell him it’s none of his business, because you do not trust your voice. You don’t know if the door slams, you don’t know if you wake up half the neighborhood clattering down the stairs - all you know is this sharp awful flailing in your chest. This part of town is just barely familiar, just enough for you to find a train station, get on the train, clutch the stinking metal pole with both hands and close your eyes through the tunnels and just breathe, just breathe, horrible hitching pre-sobs into fluorescent light underground, just breathe.
Because I'm not doing "it felt like I'd been kicked in the chest", I'm doing what it actually feels like when you feel like you've been kicked in the chest, and to do that? I need to put myself through that feeling, so I can tell it to you like I should. Because you know what that feels like. And if I just say "like I'd been kicked in the chest", the reader will nod and move on and gloss it over; I need to bring you in there with me. I need you to feel it.
And now Elayna is home, so! Coffee and knitting and making sure she does her homework!