La Peur Epoque

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A couple end the era of fear in their relationship.

Submitted: April 16, 2015

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Submitted: April 16, 2015



One of the qualities Zora immediately found attractive in Steven when they first met was his cordial attitude towards others; she found it innocent-like.  He was more optimistic and accepting than anyone she was being introduced to at that time.  Steven had this genuine interest in and appreciation for everyone.  Most people seemed to sit silent as merely a form of courtesy when someone else was speaking, but Steven sincerely listened and became invested in what they had to say.  He loved to meet new people and hear their life stories.  When the two of them went to parties, they always left having made a new friend.  When strangers spoke to them on public transportation, Steven would ask follow up questions.  When they got their apartment, Steven went around and introduced himself to all the neighbors.  Steven was, Zora once thought, a people person.

They lived in that apartment just shy of a year before anything bad happened.  Having gone out for dinner one night, they returned to find their place was burglarized – some things were taken and the front door had been kicked in.  Zora shared an apartment with roommates in the past that had been robbed, and her car had been broken into a few times, but this was a first time experience for Steven.  Naturally he had heard the stories before, but now it was happening to him.  Up to this point, one could say he had a very fortunate existence, free of confrontation and with little illness in his family.  He was inverted by the incident, and later would commonly refer to it as his “wake up call.”  Zora noticed an abrupt change in him, like a crack had formed in the windshield of a car.  Steven concerned himself with the break-in way passed the moment.  This led him to start resenting his own proclivity and reverse his opinion on the nature of people in general.  Steven became guarded when they met new people and paranoid about the apartment when they went out.  He focused on crime in the news over anything else, reading every detail and mapping which areas were being hit the hardest.  It was becoming an obsession for him.  When another break-in occurred somewhere in the same neighborhood a few months later, Steven flew off the handle.  He registered for a FOID card and went through the steps of purchasing a gun, at Zora’s protest.  Still, one night Steven brought home a revolver and a case of bullets.  He put it on the island table of their kitchenette, where Zora normally laid a bowl of fruit each morning.  They both stood there looking at it.  Although Steven promised he would not keep the gun loaded, Zora felt a new era had begun in their lives: The era of fear. 

Steven was obviously afraid of how much he underestimated the violent intentions of the general public, and afraid of letting his guard down.  With this gun, Steven was no longer saying ‘Hello’ to people, but instead was saying ‘Get the Hell away.’  And that was what Zora had become afraid of.  She feared it was only the first emergence of a new man she did not know.  As Steven was falling victim to his own fear, she feared he was the type to pull everyone down with him.  He used to listen so well, but now he did not even hear Zora’s protest against the gun.  Their future looked like a bleak, dimly lit hallway, and Zora felt she could not follow Steven.

© Copyright 2019 Gari Hart. All rights reserved.

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