I watched a scary movie with my dad and my boyfriend earlier tonight. It was realistic, which is what made it so good. The movie was exaggerated, of course. But the overall idea of the story was believable. In my opinion, the best scary movies are imaginable. If the characters are believable and relatable, you care what happens to them. The best horror films start with a foundation everyone can somehow relate to or simply believe. And this movie was very real, and very good.
When it was over, I found myself thinking about fear. There are so many ways to feel fear and there are many types of fear. Since I found out about my mom I have learned to feel fear in a different way. I’m not just afraid to lose my mom now; I am terrified. And I know many people feel this way. My point is that it feels so different than it did. Before the cancer, I just believed my mom would be around forever. Logically, I knew she’d be gone someday but I didn’t have to truly fear it until now. Even though some of my family thinks she has many years left, I am so scared. Because, she was supposed to have the rest of her life. Some of my family says we have no reason to be worried she’ll be gone soon, but I am still terrified. Because, we didn’t have any reason to expect cancer. So, I don’t trust what the doctors do and don’t say. Until they say she’s got time, I can’t help but be scared she doesn’t have many years left.
I now fear other things, too. I am scared to lose everyone I know and love, in such a deeper way than I ever did before. Because now it’s real. Something unexpected and horrible happened and is happening to my mom. So, I imagine all the ways I could lose the other people I love. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night because I am so scared. Because one day everything was okay. Life wasn’t perfect, but it was normal. I had stuff that worried me and things that made me happy. For the most part, life was good. But then on a random day at work, I got a call.
It’s funny because we were down-stocking (putting product from the warehouse onto the sales floor) that day. There were hardly any customers so almost all of us were working on the cart. I remember I used to wish I could do anything but down-stock some days. I would pray for a customer that would take up a few hours of my time just so I didn’t have to. And then I got my wish. I didn’t have to do it for the rest of the day. Instead, I got to drive home in a daze. I got to go home and pack as the terror consumed me.
Now, I find myself imagining fictional days like that. When life is normal and unexpectedly good, I wait for the other shoe to drop. I imagine something awful happening. Maybe I just want to prepare myself. I don’t know. All I do know is: I’ll never feel better about it. Fear is something you can’t get rid of. No matter how many people say it’s going to be alright, I’ll still be scared. I can’t believe it when they say we have no reason to worry too much. I don’t trust the calm because I know the storm is coming. I don’t believe what I used to believe. Fear is what I have now because I won’t be able to expect whatever is next. And that realization is why fear exists. Everyone wants to know the ending, but the only way to get the answer is reading one chapter at a time. And that is terrifying.