My eyes are stinging with unfallen and unwelcome tears as I continue to listen to whatever the hell is happening on Eli's end of the line. I urgently stand, with my phone in my hand, but have no idea where I'm going. Everything that Patrick and Lauren had warned me about, combined with Eli's lack of communication tonight, is putting this puzzle together for me as my mind races with ideas of what my ears are listening to.
"Logan?" Eli's voice shakes through the phone.
"Eli?" I ask again as my brow furrows, but instead of a response, I just hear a sharp and shallow intake of air.
I'm so confused right now.
I look to Marc, sitting on the couch next to Ali, who is finally concerned as he mouths a couple of words to me, though I can't tell what he's trying to say. Eli's erratic breathing continues to swirl through my speaker and into my ear.
"What?" I silently mouth to Marc as I look at him, lost.
He grabs a page of my notes from the coffee table as he frantically scribbles his message down for me.
"Panic attack?" His words read as he holds the paper up for me to see.8
I instantly close my eyes as Eli's hard-earned breaths flood the line. Of course, that's what's going on, and I should've known that. Yes, his breathing is short, ragged, and staggered because he's trying to catch his breath. He probably feels a pressure so tight on his chest that he's convinced himself he can't fill his lungs with air.
Because of outside influences, I had convinced myself that Eli was with another woman, which caused me to assume what I heard on the other line was sexual. I'm so mad at myself for letting my mind wander. Eli has done nothing to deserve me questioning his faithfulness. In reality, he's suffering as he's clearly trying to catch his breath on the other end.
I would let out a sigh of relief, but I don't feel any relief as I listen to my man struggle on the phone.
I take him off the speaker as I frantically make my way to the stairs to head to my dorm room, leaving my friends and books behind. I would take the elevator to be quicker, but I'm afraid I'll lose the connection if I do.
"Eli, baby?" I ask again when I hear another ragged gasp of air.
"Where are you?" I ask as I reach my hall, running down the corridor to my door.
He doesn't answer, but instead, the strained pants continue as he tries to suck in air, unable to calm himself down.
"Are you in your hotel room?" I ask, hoping to get his mind off the pressure he feels in his chest that's causing him to be short of breath.
"Yeah," he says on a shaky gasp.