Language of Fear (in my own words)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 27, 2018

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Submitted: June 27, 2018

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I walk in the classroom and feel their eyes weighing me down. I do not return their gaze. Instead I walk to the nearest unoccupied chair and sit down. I try to appear busy. I am busy opening my backpack and putting my items on the desk. My brain is now on autopilot. It hums and drones from within. There’s a fire spreading all over it, and I feel the flames lick away at my cheeks. To silence my brain I focus on the construction noise coming from outside, yet the noise points inward again, telling me to ask questions I do not want to ask. Why did the person who sat to my right say hi to the person sitting to their right but not to me? Is there something on my face? Do I look ugly? Do they think I look weird? Well, even if I’m ugly, at least I’m good at school. Wait, no, I’m not good at that either! I got 50% on my midterm even though I’m in my fourth year of university and should know how to write exams by now. That’s pathetic. I’m pathetic. And also talentless. And weak-willed. I whine and complain about nothing whatsoever even when everything is going my way. I write about the same topic over and over again as if I’m trying to convince myself that I’m doing better. Yet in reality, I’m the same man with the same fears and the same insecurities, clinging on to the same dreams that I know I’ll never achieve, crawling toward ideals that have turned their backs on me long ago. I am still the same man as I was before, wrestling with eternity and gazing down into the chasm at all the bridges I have burnt.
I feel the pulse of the room beneath my feet, a slight and steady tremor. The classroom walls begin to breathe and weep. The weeping then turns into a scream, the collective scream of a thousand lost voices, all trapped and yearning their eventual release. I only hear it for a mere moment before the construction noise takes over, stifling thus those internal cries. Our internal cries. Soon we get into groups of three to discuss a passage from the play we’ve been reading. We do so with diligence and dedication. Smiles appear on our faces, for we are happy to be conversing, to discuss ideas and focus on words other than the ones spoken by our fears. It seems then that we have learned (albeit temporarily) how to manage, and for this we ought to be proud, even if the walls behind us continue to weep.


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