Fear, unlike the size of one’s eye, doesn’t stay the same since birth. It transforms. It mutates and takes up different faces and forms. Fear sneaks behind when least expected, and pounces upon us when most awaited.
When you are a child, fear starts sweet and simple. Sweet to the listener’s ears, for who wouldn’t smile at a child’s purity of heart? Simple because the fearful world of the child ends with a loving kiss and a comforting hug. A monstrous roar of a vacuum cleaner or mother’s hair dryer. Or a demonic shadow cast by a tree outside the window. A monster under the bed, or a hairy spider There are always exceptions. Children who don’t scare easily, be it a repulsive mask on Halloween or a gigantic St. Bernard wagging its tail. In their case, fear thrives in the unexpected cracks of life. The dizziness of a carousel, the feel of slippery sand between tiny toes or a stuffed teddy bear. Everyone has fears. It’s just a matter of tapping in further, digging deep.
Soon those imaginary needles stop pricking. The make-believe blood stops dripping. Soon your trembling legs and jittery teeth won’t mean much when you’re kissing the mountain peeks, or drowning in infinite drops of water. Soon, it will be the real deal. You will shake hands with fears that never go away.
Fear of becoming someone you never thought you’d be. Fear of becoming someone you always imagined. Fear of losing a loved one. Fear of finding a wronged soul. Fear of an ill body or worse a sick mind. Fear of a broken heart. Fear of an unloved life. Fear of speaking a word you can’t take back. Fear of a word never uttered. Fear of a closed heart and an open mouth. Fear of belief. Fear of doubt. Fear of not doing enough. Fear of doing too much. Fear of a third person’s eye. Fear of family’s glare. Fear of life’s brutal honesty. Fear of death’s subtle deceit. Fear of everything. Fear of nothing.
Congratulations, you’ve grown up. Who will smile at your fears now?