Don´t be afraid

9 Aug

bedtime

 

Sammy had a profound fear of going to sleep . One year ago, on her fifth birthday, her grandfather was moved into her family’s home under hospice care. A short three months later he passed in his sleep. Sammy was the one who found him. She went into his room to hear the daily story Grand Pop would make up on the spot for her. She ended up staying in his room playing with the corpse for about an hour until her mother found her. For the past nine or so months, bedtime has been a nightmare for all involved.

One morning she woke up and proclaimed that this would be the night that she would overcome this fear and go to bed with no hassle. Her parents were elated. They were at their wits end. They had no idea what to do to this point. She had seen psychiatrists, sleep medical professionals, even a mystic in an attempt to eradicate this fear of sleep. Her health was deteriorating as a result. She was gaunt. The lack of sleep curbed her appetite and stunted her growth.

As the day slipped by, Sammy nervously eyed the clock. With every passing hour she knew she´d have to go to that scary place, her bed. And she did not forget her promise to her parents. It was the middle of summer so the day was long. But, as it must, the sun started to set. Sammy’s courage started to wane. As the sunlight subsided, her fear grew until she was as terrified as it was dark outside.

As the clock drew close to ten o’clock she solemnly went into the living room where her parents were watching a movie. She told them that she would go to bed by herself. Her father objected. He noticed that she was visibly shaking. He wanted to at least comfort her through this milestone but she objected. She told them that she had to do this alone.

Around 11 o’clock her father snuck up the stairs to see if she was asleep. She was. He father felt as if a huge weight was lifted from his shoulders. He backed out of this room, closing the door behind him and made his way to the stairs, very excited to share this news with his wife. As he crossed the threshold into the living room ready to give his wife the good report there was what seemed like an explosion. The house shook. The world shook. Then there was the sounds of crashing all around him. He grabbed his wife and dove back under the threshold. That was the safest place to be during an earthquake, so he was repeatedly told during his time in Elementary school.

The shaking went on for what felt like an eternity but was in fact not more than a few brief moments in time. He looked around and there was a lot of damage around him. Car alarms were blasting in the background. His wife and his only thought went to Sammy. As they made their way to the stairs they were hit with a blow to their senses that was rivaled by none other. The stairs were flattened. There was smoke coming from the rubble. It was as if a mighty palm came down from the heavens and squashed their dreams. Their home, their beloved daughter, their everything was gone.

Around a year after the incident, Sammy’s father was finishing a quick Chinese food lunch before having to go back to work. He almost never ate the fortune cookie and usually didn´t even bother to read the message inside. Today he decided to have the fortune cookie. He clumsily ripped open the plastic and cracked the cookie in half. The message inside brought back feelings of pain that had only slightly started to subside.

You can overcome your fears, but what you are afraid of can still get you.

 

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4 Responses to “Don´t be afraid”

  1. Bruce Goodman August 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    Great story! I shall never read another fortune cookie!

    • Ryan August 9, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks man! But don´t let this little story put you off such a bland, tasteless, downright awful cookie! 🙂

  2. Eric Tonningsen August 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    For me, fear goes one of two ways: it can either paralyze or it can constructively motivate. It’s always a choice. Another good one, Ryan!

    • Ryan August 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      I think that is true for everybody on the planet! I like to use it as a motivator myself. Thanks for reading it. I am glad you liked it!

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