I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m a wimp.
It’s always made me somewhat unpopular, but that’s okay, I mind my own business and the popular kids leave me alone.
I remember when I was considered a popular kid, god that must have been third grade. I was the kid whose parents bought him Pokémon cards and Matchbox cars in exchange for me behaving well. That meant a lot of kids would come over to my house to see my cool toys. I always avoided sleep-overs, I was afraid of the dark (Still am) and I didn’t like sleeping out of my bed. The kids who are still my friends two years into high school either share my fears or were tolerant of them.
But one day I had to open my big mouth, I told a popular kid named Baylor about all my cool toys. He wanted to spend the night; I figured it might be okay if he was nice enough. Here’s what I didn’t account for however; Baylor was a jerk who made fun of people weaker than him.
So we’re at my house and it’s time to go to bed, he sees the nightlight and wants to know why it’s there. So I confess it all, being afraid of the dark and all of my other fears. He seemed okay with it at the time, so we went to bed and had a pretty fun sleep over.
Then on Monday we’re back in school, I’m late because I had a dentist’s appointment and come in during lunch. I don’t get to sit down in the cafeteria, I wait in the classroom. A few minutes pass and they all come back in and they start laughing at me, apparently Baylor told them about my fear of the dark.
So you know the rest of the story. Bullied through elementary school, never popular again. It stayed that way until high school when I learned that if you stay quiet most people will leave you alone. It was okay; I had friends who were okay with it.
So one day I’m minding my own business in the hall when I hear some of the more popular kids talking about a party, I listen long enough to hear when and were without making it look like I was eavesdropping. I may not like being around other people, but I do like parties. Underage drinking is one of the reasons I’m still sane.
I ask a couple of my friends if they want to come but nobody else does, some have excuses but most just don’t want to go.
The party is later that night and I arrive late so as not to draw attention, for the most part I just sit there and don’t talk, enjoying the beer. I go to get a refill when I hear a laugh, having been tormented in elementary school I assume it’s about me. I turn but it’s just a couple of popular girls taking pictures and tweeting. I turn and bump into Baylor; he actually doesn’t recognize me at first but it comes to him.
“Hey, aren’t you that kids that’s afraid of the dark?”
I try to get past him but now he has everybody’s attention. The teasing starts in full volume.
“That was back in grade school, I’m not scared anymore.”
I’m totally lying, but they don’t know that.
“Then prove it.”
Great, now what have I gotten myself into?
They find an attic that’s darker than a Game of Thrones plot twist. And yes, I did just go there.
“Alright scaredy-cat if you can spend 5 minutes up there and you aren’t scared.”
I can manage 5 minutes can’t I?
I get up into the attic; I start to panic a little. I calm myself as best as I can but I’m still not calm. What if I don’t make it? What if they all left? What if nobody is keeping track of time? What if the floorboards are weak?
Finally 5 minutes pass, after what seems like 5 hours, I hear Baylor call.
“Alright, you proved it, you can come out.”
I silently celebrate. Then softly, almost a whisper I say.
“I finally faced my fears.”
A voice comes from behind me
“Good.” It says in a deep gruff voice “Now it’s my turn.”
Credit To – CidJo