I used to fear the monsters under my bed. The irrational thought of a creature below me as I slept terrified me. I had my mother check every night and still kept the light on, door cracked.
I used to fear the man at the window. The idea that there might be someone watching me was something that I was utterly convinced of. That was when I was five years old.
I used to fear the boys that bullied me. The ones that were bigger, the ones that were stronger. But I knew that I far outpaced them on the field of intellect and would leave them behind eventually. It wasn’t a real fear, just the primal aversion to physical pain.
I used to fear my parents. No, what I truly feared was failure. I feared bringing home anything less than excellent for that would mean a less than excellent life. That would mean failure in my future. It would mean that I was no better than the boys that had tormented me in my earlier life. I feared being less. I feared being average.
I used to fear Alana. It was, once again, a primal fear, something left over from our evolution. But this time, for the first time, I feared for more than myself. I feared for all of us. For the threat Alana posed to our safety, for the threat she posed to our lives.
For the longest time, I used to fear the ones we left behind. I used to fear the empty shells of Brad and Brandon. Of Justine. They came to me in my sleep, asking why, why, WHY I couldn’t save them, why I didn’t save them. I feared their cold faces and their haunted eyes.
Then there was nothing at all. There was only anger and the desire for retribution. Anger that I pushed down. Anger that I ignored. For all my earlier talk of revenge, I ignored my anger and got back to my life. Only now, over two years into college, do I remember. I remember and I fear.
I fear that I have lost it. That anger. I fear that I have pushed it down so far that it is unreachable. I fear that it has disappeared in my desire to ignore it. I fear that I have forgotten the horrors of what Alana has done to us. I fear it with more of my being than I have feared anything else. I fear I have forgiven.