Fear

This is another essay from my AP English class, written in November of 2008; a piece of my childhood.

 

I remember the summer afternoon that my mother turned into Wonder woman. My brother had hopped the fence in our backyard in an attempt to retrieve a wiffle ball that had escaped over the fence. He managed to step on a beehive and he got stung everywhere, and didn’t have the strength to climb back over. That’s when my mother came flying out of the house and sprinted across the yard faster than I had ever seen her run before. For some reason she knew my brother was in real danger and she knew that she had to be the one to save him. She charged the fence where my brother had run up to, still screaming in pain, and she pulled him over to the safety of our yard as though he weighed no more than a kitten three months old. My brother was upset and a little hurt, but he was okay overall. I still wasn’t sure what was happening, but I did know one thing: my mother was not capable of lifting him over a fence that easily. What had happened? I learned about that thing called an adrenaline rush that somehow gave you special powers, like flying and superhuman strength. It was a very interesting theory. To me it seemed like my mother was acting out of fear, and it made her stronger. It didn’t completely make sense, so I assumed it was something you’d have to experience to understand.

In the same backyard a few years later, I was outside in the cool autumn air with my brother and our friend and neighbor. My backyard butts up against the side yard of a white house off of the street behind my property. The white house was upon a hill and a thin wooded area and a small chain-link fence kept the land separated. There was my shed with its back to the side yard of the white house; one side had big doors and a ramp for my dad’s lawn mower, and the side closer to us was a pool shed for the above ground pool that stood behind us.

We were being weird like always doing stupid little things like pestering each other and yelling random things, and we were standing facing the yard of the strange white house, the pool behind us, and the shed to our left. My brother was closest to the shed, our neighbor being the next closest, and I was the farthest away. During our random play, we noticed that one of the strangers who lived in the white house (I believe they spoke Greek) wandered out in his own yard and started speaking in his own language. Even though my brother was the oldest, our neighbor was the biggest risk-taker of the three of us. He yelled something I can’t quite remember over to the man in the other yard and got a laugh from him. He made some strange noises back. Our neighbor said something else and this time the big scary man made a motion towards us, like he was coming after us. Fear overcame the three of us and we sprinted for our lives to those sheds like they were bomb shelters.

My brother ripped past the open lock on the side of the shed with the ramp and the lawn mower inside and closed the doors quickly behind him. Our neighbor had entered the pool shed with me right at his heels. Somehow, he managed to close the door and lock it before I had gotten inside. I stood wide eyed on the little wooden steps as fear overcame my body; he wasn’t going to open that door for me. This was made clear to me when he pressed his face against the glass window then proceeded to point and laugh at me from the safety and warmth of being on the inside of that shed. I feared for my life and refused to look to see if that big scary man was waiting to pounce on me.

My nerves went haywire as I pleaded with him to be a good friend. What have I ever done to you? I never locked you outside in a crisis like this. I begged him relentlessly to open the door before it was too late, before the big scary man would get me. Our neighbor, being the character that he was (and still is) just maintained his big smile as he watched me fidget miserably on the tiny steps.

Something happened inside me at this moment. I suddenly didn’t feel like I was the tiny little girl scared for her life because someone was after her. I was bigger than that. The fear I had of this strange man was gone; it had turned into an endless rage that was craving revenge. I knew by now that this man was not coming and that we had never been in any real danger. The fear of the attack had been transformed into anger that began speeding towards our neighbor, our friend, and his door of safety. My adrenaline rush gave me superhuman strength, and my “friend” was going to be a poor victim of its path. I always tell myself it was his own fault anyway.

I stood looking into the glass with his face hiding behind it and suddenly the fact that I could barely reach it didn’t matter anymore. My innocent, frightened face had changed into the angry, determined look of a sumo wrestler about to crush his enemy. My right fist pounded into the glass where he had pressed his face oh so many times sticking his tongue out at me. With each blow on the glass I became all the more powerful and invincible. I had the strength of a mighty dragon raging within me, guiding my strength to my hand and transferring it onto the window. I recall screaming the words “Let me in!” and as I was saying “in” my fist crashed right through the glass. It shattered upon his little round face and he stuck his tongue out no more. My strength drained out of me so much faster than when I had gathered it. I returned to my state of being a tiny mouse with big beady eyes staring innocently at the gigantic door before me.

All the while my brother had been in the shed next door. He slowly poked his head around the corner when he heard the sound of shattered glass. I watched his face change when his brain had taken in the damages I had done. Then I looked back as the door slowly opened; our friend stood in the doorway with a few tiny shards of glass stuck in his head. The fear on his face is something I will never forget. He was more afraid now then we had all originally been of the scary neighbor man who spoke weird words.

I was a tiny little girl with minimal strength and I had somehow managed to shove my fist through a glass window, pulling my hand out unscathed and wounding my enemy. This was something I was completely incapable of doing, yet I did it. Our friend stood in silence, wincing in pain, just giving me that look of “What the HECK were you thinking?” My brother stood next to me, staring with his jaw dropped at the scene of the crime. “Dad is going to kill you.” I felt the size of an ant and I wished more than anything that someone would just step on me.

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