She is not the fearful type. In fact, she is quite the opposite, bold and confident. Her self-assurance has always caused her to be a bit careless; careless with her words and careless with her actions. Her recklessness often finds her in compromising situations. Like when she got off the ‘L’ at 2 a.m. in a foreign part of the city and found herself alone and surrounded by dark corners and suspicious characters. She didn’t panic. She loosened her posture and slowed her gait. She sent a nonchalant text message and walked to the bus stop. Sure, her heart was beating a little faster than normal but not out of fear, out of excitement. She loved the thrill of uncertainty, the challenge of it all. She called it confidence, I called it stupidity.
The problem with all of this is that relatively speaking she hasn’t suffered any consequences. Relatively speaking, she has gotten by quite easy. When she used to wake up after an evening of binge drinking, she never suffered a hangover. In the course of her series of “social activities” she never suffered more than the occasional walk of shame. Even now, when her blunt, sarcastic words fall on unsuspecting ears, more often than not, they are met with laughter; found to be charming and witty. And, on the occasions when those words are met with resistance it generally comes from someone in it for the long haul, someone who for all intensive purposes forgives quickly. How can she swallow a healthy dose of humility when her harshness is applauded and her recklessness punished with less than a slap on the wrist?
However, albeit she’s confident, to say she is without fear would be a lie. Indeed, her fears traipse around her subconscious like little thieves, stealing away precious moments with lies of what ifs and memories of helplessness. When they surface, she can’t stop the goose bumps from hardening or the suffocating tightness in her chest. They suck her back into a moment in time when boldness and confidence were non-existent; a moment when fear of the truth and reality kept her loud mouth abnormally quiet. She fears her silence will reap far greater consequences than the combination of all her crass remarks. Depending on the day, the scales teeter precariously on the edge of either outcome. Fear lingers on indecision and uncertainty, patiently awaiting its next opportunity to blindside her. As for resolution, it’s hard to come by when you’re the villain.
I’d like to say I feel sorry for her, but truth is, I don’t.