Being Afraid

I am afraid of *almost* everything. Be it a moth, the fluttering of the curtain at night, or hurried footsteps(Hey. Admit it. Hurried footsteps scare the crap out of you.), I’ll be the one bolting for safety first. When I say bolting for safety, I mean running fast to the nearest room with a door and have my arms flailing above me while screaming at the top of my lungs. (When I’m outside, I’ll yelp and try to hurry away really quickly.) This isn’t much of a problem. Unless you’re SUPPOSEDLY branded as brave, loyal and all, and if you have an older brother of a year constantly reminding you of your misadventures and how it disgraced him. Is being afraid similar to phobias? I suppose so. I have phasmophobia. The fear of ghosts. I get EXTREMELY paranoid if you leave me alone in a large dark house with lizards and crickets as a permanent resident. Their incessant creaking which frightens me. It’s as if they’re calling a ‘friend’. *shivers*

Anyway, back to fear. When you’re scared, do you feel this weight on your chest as your heart scrambles to beat as fast as a rabid dog’s speed chasing down a squirrel? And the feeling to check your surroundings, like in horror movies: *main character gets out of bed at midnight to follow a sound outside her room* us watching: “NO! NO! Why would you do something so stupid?! Don’t. Ahh, shit.” *main character finds something we don’t want to see as much as she does*. But the thing is, we really do go about checking. At least I do. I’ll grip a torchlight with my stubby hands, heart pounding in my ears, and timidly walk around the house calling out softly, “Hello?”. Waiting there for a second or two until a sudden sound shakes your ‘I AM BRAVE’ demeanour and makes you run quietly to somewhere ‘safe’. The thing about horror movies is that when the character encounters a ghost, she(most probably a female, the iconic female scream in a horror movie) screams bloody murder. It makes you check around the house after that, take a quick glance around. It really does.

But when we truly fear something and we encounter it, we’d scream, yes, but after a moment, we’d become so shaken, we’d grow quiet. Just a quiet shivering person trying to catch his/her breath while not closing our eyes, lest we miss a movement.. which we are all scared of. Missing a movement. Being afraid makes you feel weak, physically, mentally and emotionally. We’d feel all small on the outside, shaken in the brain, and embarrassed in the heart. I do feel all these. I’m afraid of everything. “Don’t be afraid!” they told me. I want to. But what if I can’t stop being afraid? I’m sure many of you want to, let’s say, stop worrying too much. You want to, oh, you sure do. All the butterflies in your stomach are becoming disturbingly huge(I’m scared of that too. Butterflies. Whoever said girls liked butterflies? All the Snow White lets a butterfly reside on her finger ideas.), the weight on you that makes your chest scream for freedom. But what if you can’t stop. What if you don’t want to stop?

I always put on a brave front in front of outsiders, people think I’m fearless. I’m not. I’m the total opposite. I run when a butterfly is within my 10 meters radius, I whip my head around like a voodoo doll so many times to check for signs of external presence, and I do so much more in the face of fear. I’m not proud of it.

I don’t want to be the small little girl in a ready-to-run-away stance gripping a torchlight like it’s her lifesaver any more.


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