Monday, June 27, 2011

My Fear Story

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts "Stuff You Should Know" and the podcast was about "How Fear works."  Then the host told his fear story.  It reminded me of my fear story.  I've been scared many times over the years, but a story of true fear doesn't happen often.

Mine begins with a move to the country in California.  I'd been an Air Force Brat all my life and always lived in the city.  When I was 16 my family moved to the home my parent ultimately retired to and it was in their dream spot in the country.  My brother and I were city kids.  It was difficult getting use to the quiet and the darkness at night.  Another thing contributing to my uncomfortableness was no curtains on my bedroom windows.  Never did get any.  I caught my brother and his friend one night looking in and trying to scare me through one of my windows.  He was 13 and so were his friends.  Perfect age for "let's spy on your 16 year old sister."

I told my mom and dad what was happening and my mom suggested that while theboys were outside and up to their shenanigans to lock the sliding glass door in my brother's bedroom.  That way he'll have to come in through the upstairs door in the living room and explain why he's out at night.

The fateful day came and I heard rustling by my bedroom window.  My mom was out of town for a nursing seminar and only my dad was home.  He was a crotchety old military man always yelling at us and on our cases (well he still is).  I knew my brother was going to be in big trouble.  My mom wasn't there to soften it.

I threw on my fluffy robe and tippy toed out of my room as not to alert my brother to the plan.  I locked the downstairs garage door.  Next to tippy toe into my brother's room and lock his slider.  Ever so quietly and slowly I step toward his slider.  Giddy with anticipation of his finally getting into trouble for peeping on me.  I'm halfway to the door when suddenly my brother sits up in bed and screams bloody murder.  I simultaneously scream bloody murdered at the top of my lungs and I scramble for the light switch.  There is my brother wide awake, but had been sound to sleep in bed.  What he saw was a big fuzzy creature creepy into his room in the middle of the night.

We stood frozen for probably 5 minutes just staring at one another and listening.  We were now terrorized by the fact that our crotchety old dad was going to come running downstairs to save us and nothing was really going on.  We listened intently.  Our eyes rolling around in our heads.  Listening for every bump.  For the rapid thump thump thump on carpeted steps of someone running down the stairs.  Finally we slowly let our breaths out.  No dad.  No dog barking.  We were greatly relieved not to get a tongue lashing.  Yet, our next anxious thought was "We just screamed our loudest bloody murder screams and no one heard us.

When we first moved to the country I had expressed my concern about the isolation, the quiet, the darkness, the fact that my brother and I were on ground level by ourselves.  My dad just laughed and said, "All you have to do is scream and I'll come save you."

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