Chapter 1: F-E-A-R: part one: Forget everything and run
Simple, right? I mean this is coming from someone who has run away from everything his entire life, however, there comes a time where it becomes pointless, exhausting, never ending. The list goes on... That never stopped me from running though. From my fears, my dreams, anything that seemed detrimental to my well-being- even if it was myself. Fear was what drove me to act on command, follow my instincts- which weren’t always good- and to make quick and fast decisions, which generally got me in more trouble than benefit me, but it is what it is.
I remember one time when I was seven, and my older brother Bryan told me there were monsters under my bed. Needless to say I slept under a tree in the backyard for a week. Looking back on it now I can’t help but laugh, but back then it was a big deal, as I like to believe it would to any typical seven year old.
This time around was different. As I sank deeper into my slumber a dark cloud started manifesting in my mind.
It was dark, the only source of light was a streetlight a couple yards away. I looked around and saw two policemen charge toward me and haul me into a police car.
I was stricken with fear, not knowing what was going on. Tears streamed down my face as fear and confusion flooded my mind, causing my body to tremble profusely. Before I knew it, I was in a holding cell all by myself. No phone, no escape or outlet linking me to the outside world.
In the dream, however, I asked the officer if I could go back home and get my earphones. I saw her shrug her slender shoulders.
‘’I don’t see why not,’’ and then I ran back home to grab them. Just as I was about to head back to my doom I glanced back at my room.
Everything looked surprisingly neat; the books were nicely stacked on my bookshelf- not a book out of place. I slowly walked around my bed and saw it completely made, my minion blanket nicely tucked under my mattress. Everything appeared so pristine- the complete opposite of how I usually left it. I investigated further and spotted a brown envelope on my desk, which was bare with the exception of one or two books stacked on top.
I glance down over my shoulder to make sure nobody saw, then hesitantly took the envelope. I was very hesitant at first, my hands trembling as I took the note out and smoothed the edges out. As I started to read, there were four words in bold print. You can’t run forever.
I read further, but those four words screamed loud in my mind. I tried pushing the disturbing thoughts aside and continued reading.
Remember you have options. You don’t have to live in fear forever. Remember the second meaning of F-E-A-R? Face Everything And Rise. Face your fear Brandon. That is the only way you will truly be free. - Unknown
Before I could register what the note meant I heard my name. In a frantic motion I dropped the note back on my desk- or the floor- I don’t look back as I run out of the room, down a dark narrow hallway.
The voice grew more distant with each step until it became nothing but a hushed whisper. Before I could get any closer, I was transported back to my holding cell.
My mind instantly started spinning... What was happening... What did I do? I looked up to see my mom standing a few feet away, her eyes full of sweet sorrow as she stared back at me. I reached my hand out to her, and before I knew it, I was in her arms, encircled in her firm embrace.
Her touch made me feel so safe and secure; It felt so real that I almost forget that I was dreaming.
I pulled away to look at her. Her dirty blond hair was pulled back in a messy bun topped with a black sequined cross hat. Her face was as clear as day, and her emerald eyes glistened in the sunlight. I opened my mouth to speak, but she held her hand up and I saw a brown envelope with my name on it. My heart dropped as she smiled and said, ‘’Trade you’’.
Before I could take the note her figure started to fade, along with the envelope, and eventually diminish completely. Everything went black, and I could feel myself start to wake up, my dreams and reality become separate- for now.
I tried to shake off the unnerving feeling gnawing at my conscience, my entire body felt like it was paralyzed. I slowly turned my head and saw the guy beside me staring. I knew of him, but didn't know him personally. He was one of those nerds that let the jocks copy off their homework.
He was very scrawny, sporting glasses as big as his face. They looked almost like sunglasses, dark and tinted; I could see my reflection in them. He removed them, unveiling his vibrant green eyes. His lashes were so long that they looked almost feminine-like. He wasn't bad-looking by any stretch.
He frowns at me.“Are you okay?” His voice was thick with concern, like I was dying and not just waking up from a nightmare.I just glared at him, not really registering his question. When it finally clicked I looked down at the ground, and shook my head.
I nodded. He sighed and slid down in his seat. The notion was so simple, yet it felt atypical coming from a guy like him. I quickly brushed it off though as I felt a shooting pain hit me like a lighting bolt. I rubbed my pupils and nodded again.
‘’Are you scared to go to sleep?’’
I look over at him, straining to keep my eyes open, my words slurred as I said, "No, I am scared of what I might dream’’.