I’m afraid of his hand on my thigh as bad news breaks my ribs and steals my breath. I shouldn’t rely on his strength or his resilience or the disgusting amount of optimism he effortlessly bathes in. I was content reveling in sadness and finding comfort in blinding darkness. Now his smile is reassuring and his laughter infectious and his love so understanding that my head spins at the thought of losing it all.
I’m afraid to need her strengthening voice when the world becomes far too heavy to carry. I shouldn’t seek her solace now that pig tails have grown and scratches cut deeper than the skin holding me together. I have stopped asking for hydrogen peroxide or bedtime melodies yet I am constantly asking for her guidance and patience and knowledge. But time is against us and a life lived shows on her face and the thought of a world without her in it carves debilitation in my spine.
I’m afraid of his confident presence when trivial matters are stacked against me. He waves at forgotten youthfulness, his wisdom passing his years with determined courage and unrelenting pride. He was the awkward toddler hurrying behind me and the mischievous adolescent breaking rules beside me and now he is the willing soldier, sacrificing in front of me. I see others come home under red, white and blue and my heart collapses my lungs, using every stolen breath as a safety blanket.
I’m afraid to need its towering buildings when home seems like a contrived fairytale. There’s safety in a Puget’s sound and wonder in a needle set for space and comfort in the mountains that cascade. I’ve traced the golden dance steps on a city’s streets and cheered with a strained voice at the birth place of false starts and loved so recklessly only forgotten office lights could sooth me. But a future threatens to carry me where Emerald lights diminish and I can feel home sickness twisting my arm.
I’m afraid to feel genuine happiness as hard work pays off endless debt. Dreams are peaking through the curtains of reality, tattooing my eyes with wonder and excitement and disbelief. Walls are becoming doors and roadblocks are becoming highways and the unknown is becoming a welcomed friend. Everything I’ve wanted forebodes a joyous homecoming, yet the other shoe teeters on a distant edge and a past whispers, “You know better.”
I’m afraid. I’m afraid of love and security and the unknown and contentment and the very facets of life most strive to experience. I’m afraid of accomplishment and success and the joyous occasions that are all-too fleeting.
I’m afraid of life, so I know I’m truly living.