fear

There was a loud crash in the hallway and Marissa slammed her face into a pillow to stifle a scream. She lay still for a minute, ears listening for any little thing while her mind thought of what she would do—pretend to be asleep? try to attack? try to hide?—when the intruder found the door to her room.

This was Marissa; she was always afraid. Irrationally so. Ever since she could remember she always heard noises and saw things. When she was in one room, she was sure she’d see shadows quickly darting about in another room or down the hallway. Not all the time, not every day, but she saw these shadows and she heard strange noises quite often. Like the crash in the hallway.

There was never anything to come from the sights and sounds other than maybe an elevated blood pressure or a premature gray hair. Noises generally were a result of something getting knocked down from the vibrations of the trucks on the street she lived on, for example; shadows were just a result of her overactive imagination.

Nevertheless, Marissa always envisioned the worst.

When she was younger, Marissa was sure the car door would suddenly fly open and she’d be sucked out of the car as her mom and dad and brothers drove down the highway to visit family. She hated sitting against the door because of this, but she hated the middle seat more. At least if she was by the door, the chances of her little brother Mark puking on her were slimmer than if she was in the middle since her older brother Andrew refused to give up his seat behind their dad. Of course if the door did finally fly open, she’d be a goner for sure, but she figured that since the door never opened she’d stick with the safety of being able to rush out of the car when Mark puked. Because with Mark, it wasn’t a case of If he would puke in the car, it was always When.

Even when she was a child, it annoyed Marissa how paralyzed she became by fear, but as soon as the fear subsided, she wouldn’t give it another thought until the next time she was paralyzed.

Paralyzed by fear.

It was getting so bad she wondered if she’d ever live a normal life. At 23, and still living at home, Marissa let fear control her. It was like an abusive boyfriend, but of course Marissa couldn’t see this. And because she wasn’t ever the one amidst her peers to shine, even a little bit, Marissa felt doomed for a life of solitude as a result.

And then she met Stan.

Again.

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15 thoughts on “fear

  1. I’ve had a door pop open on me and tumbled out. Terrifying experience, especially at six (back in days before car seats). Is there or will there be more to this? I’d like to know how Stan helps her end her solitude 😀

    • I traveled to Europe with my grandparents during their last trip home about 13 years ago. My grandfather was becoming forgetful etc and hadn’t been able to drive for some time. He, my grandmother and I were in the back seat of the car– I was in the middle. We were on the Autobon and he opened the door. O.M.G. I thought we all were going to die. I don’t know how or why but he had the sense to hold onto the door handle long enough so that my uncle, driving, could stop.

      There is actually more to this, I just didn’t have time to get it all in before posting but it’s in the tags: Marissa, Stan… or directly: https://otherthanlovie.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/the-interview/

  2. Paralyzed by fear….I can totally understand that ! When I was a kid, I used to see shadows too. The one I remember I was sleeping and I woke up and saw a shadow sitting right beside my mom and looking at her. I cried Mom there is something besides you and she slapped him and I swear I heard the sound and then he disappeared. My mom never recognized anyone slapping at night 😛 I guess that was a dream or may be anything else, who knows ! A brilliant story ! Loved it.

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