I’m scared of all the normal things: things that go bump in the night, spiders, snakes, burglars, murderers, getting hit by a train, getting hit by a car, getting mugged, boys with long hair, girls with pretty hair, death, basic mathematics, the word “moist,” and heights.
But I’m scared of a lot more, too. I’m scared of things that don’t go bump in the night. I’m mostly just afraid of the night. I’m scared of almost all kinds of bugs, really, and I’m not a fan of anything that has fangs or venom. I’m scared of boys in general. I’m scared of how they can just look at you and make you nervous. I’m scared of a lot of girls, but that’s because girls can be vicious, or at least that’s what Mean Girls taught me. I’m scared of death or anything that could lead to it, which is a lot, thanks to the Final Destination movies. I’m scared of saying the wrong words. I’m scared of openness.
I’m scared of walking down stairs, up stairs; I’m scared of stairs because I could fall, and people would laugh. I’m scared of going to the bathroom in public, because I hate hearing other people pee, so I’m sure they feel the same way. I’m scared doing a lot of things in public. I hate walking alone.
I’m scared of eating in front of people. What if something gets stuck in my teeth? No, I can’t do that. But I’m also always scared there’s something in my teeth, whether I’ve eaten recently or not. I’m scared that something is hanging out of my nose, because sometimes I notice those things on other people and don’t say anything, so someone could very well be doing that to me. I’m scared of getting bloody noses in public, too.
I’m scared of failing in life. I’m scared of working some desk job in a cubicle that I loathe. But I’m also scared of doing what I love: because what if I’m bad at it? I’m scared of growing old, because I know that my mother, and her mother before her, all grew to be an age where they looked in the mirror and hated what they saw, and I’d hate to have to add “mirrors” to the ever-growing list of Things I’m Scared Of.
I’m simultaneously terrified of missing out on all the extraordinary things life has to offer me, though. I’m scared of not taking that leap, catching that train, kissing that boy, or writing that article all because I’m scared of What Could Happen. So I really don’t know what to do, because I’m damned if I do and damned if I hide under the covers all day.
So it amazes me that, despite being afraid of all these things — some of which are truly terrifying but some amazing — I was never, ever scared of you. I should’ve been. I should’ve run far away as soon as I heard you say my name. Because with that one word, I saw it all — I saw you seeing me eat, us walking up stairs together, us both failing and succeeding in life, together, us stumbling across bugs or mean girls or boys with pony tails. You have the every potential to eradicate all my prior fears and replace them with only one: the fear of you. But I was never scared. Not for a moment. Not even the slightest.