For as long as I remember, I have been afraid of the dark. Because it has always signified things unknown, things that cant be seen, and can only be imagined. The fear has gripped me on nights when I have lay still in bed, eyes peeled, too afraid that if they shut, the unthinkable would happen, and I wouldn’t be prepared for it. It has rendered me incapable of moving on nights when I have been too afraid to walk down the stairs into the kitchen for a drink of water. It has ruined school camping trips, slumber parties and the like, because I was always the last one to fall asleep.
Sometime last month I was forced to stay alone for 4 nights at a stretch. And quite suddenly, ended my miserable one-sided unhealthy relationship with darkness. It was a burden, a strain, the kind of relationship that you are saddled with, but cant break out of. The kind you merely hang on to it because you don’t quite know how to shake it off, and have over time gotten used to it. The kind that leaves your heart yearning for some freshness, to step out of the dark, into the light, and do things you’re missing out on. But it’s also the kind that makes you weak and afraid to break out of the mould you wear like a perfectly fitting glove. Afraid to expose your bare hands.
But experience teaches you well. Especially experience that doesn’t give you options to choose from, and throws you straight in the face of your worst fears. So while I don’t really know what happened to make the switch, I feel a change. I am no longer paranoid, I can rest easy, sleep in peace and know that Darkness has been left behind. He lies around sulking like the jilted half of a relationship. Like someone whose lover chose to be with another. Someone brighter, braver and cheerful. Someone who would let her triumph in the light, rather than cower in the dark. And so he waits around, brooding in the shadows, waiting to find his next unthinking victim.