I was wrapped up in a tartan wool blanket in Fear’s house. The fire behind me warmed my back, allowing each muscle along my spine to relax and sink deeper.
There was this strange comfortability here. The kind of comfort where you find yourself forgetting that you don’t belong. A reminder alerting you every few seconds that even though your mind thinks this is the place to rest your bones forever, your body nudges at you to run.
A twitch of the wrist.
Like when you’re falling asleep and you jump out of your skin, your body trying desperately to keep you alive.
I had known this feeling of my body and mind being at war. And so I sat with it as Fear stammered on in the background about his opinions and “what if’s” in the world.
Fear always had a lot to say.
I continued looking around the room that consisted of items completely opposite of the other. The juxtaposition was baffling, but when looked at closer, made much more sense.
Old suitcases lined a wall, stacked on top of the other. And next to them was a table full of fully used Passports, stamps covering the sheets inside like freckles.
“Ah,” I said out loud as Fear stopped mid sentence and turned to look at me, “The trips no one took and the adventures so many chose.”
Fear smiled at me. He always appreciated my talent for reading a room, and of course my insight into him.
“It’s true what they say,” he said as he removed his glasses, pulled out a cloth and circled the lenses round and round, “everything you want really is on the other side of me.”
He put his glasses back on and returned to stammering about his ancestors, siblings and grandkids that lived so prominently throughout our world but I could no longer hear him.
My ears were filled with the sounds of bustling Thai markets, the sound of sheep on the English countryside and the sound of my Mother humming in the early morning as I lay in my childhood bedroom safe and sound.
Before fear had ever wrapped his tartan blanket around my shoulders.
And spread fire into my veins.