The weight came on instantly. He felt it in his chest first like a shock-wave then as a pile of stones. Each second another solid mass of despair. His rib-cage threatened to crumble. His organs barely able to maintain shape. His entire body wanted to buckle under the weight as the moon came crashing down, smashing him into the earth until his atoms fused with the soil.

“I’m sorry,” someone said. The voice was blurry, distant, but familiar. The soft inflection indicated sincerity.

He almost didn’t hear his own voice reply. He said it without even a whisper of pain. It was instinctive, natural, a story he told himself every day.

“It’s okay. I’m fine.”

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