General Fiction posted March 29, 2022


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What I fear most

The cycle

by the13thpoet

True Fear Contest Winner 

I grew up in the late 70s and early 80s those were my formative childhood years. By all accounts I was a quiet, shy and timid kid. I was the oldest of three children, well my mother's three children. I had an older half sister from my father so at the time I assumed I was his second child, well as I grew older I found out that I was in fact at least his fourth child, an emphasis on "at least", there could have been more. To say that my father was a rolling stone would have been an understatement.

Among being an habitual sperm donor, back in the early 80s he was the Nino Brown of our hood (Newark, NJ). For those who don't know Nino Brown was the drug dealing villian in the 1991 film New Jack City. We lived in a twenty one story high rise project building and he supplied it with Marijuana among other illegal substances.

As if being a reckless procreator wasn't enough, in addition to that he liked to dabble in the bible and call himself the "Heavenly Father". He would sit my mother and I down and read the bible to us and make us take notes. At five years old I had my own flashcards with scriptures on them. Now you may say well teaching your woman and child about the bible is a good thing, and under normal circumstances it would have been a good thing. However during this "bible study" there was usually beer or some other sort of alcohol on the table while a joint was being passed around.

But wait! There's more! Now add habitual and extreme domestic abuser as well as rumored molester to the list and you have a resume that would make a harden criminal blush. I have personally been a victim and witness to too many of these episodes. I've carried these memories, scars and traumas around with me for as long as I can remember.

In 2004 I got some news that would change my life forever, my girlfriend was pregnant, I was going to be a father. A strong wave of fear seemed to settle over me and I just couldn't shake it. Why is this feeling of fear so strong? What exactly am I afraid of? I know self reflection is taking a deeper look at yourself, but I like to take it literally, so sometimes I like to look in the mirror when reflecting.

So it was off to the medicine cabinet for me. I reached the bathroom door, I stuck my arm inside the bathroom feeling against the wall for the light switch. My fingers made contact and I pushed the light switch. As light began to fill the room I caught my reflection in the mirror, but briefly, just for a fraction of a second the reflection wasn't my own. Now I don't know if it was a trick on my eyes or my mind (maybe both), but either way in that very instant I knew what that feeling of fear was, the very thing I feared the most. It wasn't the fact that I was going to be a father that scared me. It was the thought of me becoming my father that sent a chill down my spine and a mix of despair and determination coursing through me. I knew in that very moment that it was going to be up to me to BREAK THE CYCLE.



Writing Prompt
Write an essay about your greatest fear

True Fear
Contest Winner
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