Jessica and Paul grew up together in Kelowna. Both of them had spent a lot of time learning to snowboard. At nineteen-years-old, Jessica could easily catch big air and do tricks.She often went freeriding down the mountain with Paul.
Jessica was worried because she had not seen Paul in two days. It was unusual for him not to contact her. She took the bus down Big White and thought she might go to Paul’s place.
Suddenly, the bus stopped. They were “within a mile-and-a-half of the service roads when [the bus driver spotted a man],” lying on the side of the road. Jessica got off the bus. Recognizing the man’s face she saw it was Paul. Tears slid down her cheeks.
“I love you Paul. Please be okay,” Jessica cried.” We are supposed to go to the next Winter Olympics together. You’re supposed to marry me.”
The RCMP arrived then and a female officer gently pulled Jessica away from Paul. “How do you know this man?” asked the officer.
“He was my boyfriend. We grew up together.” The officer squeezed her shoulder.
After an autopsy was completed Jessica found out why Paul had died. He had had an aneurysm in his brain; it ruptured. Jessica was shattered.
Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting this flash fiction challenge.
Static. Motionless. Stagnant. Stale. Still. I have a fear of all these words. When it comes to my life I’m afraid of not going anywhere. I’m afraid I will be still and stuck. I’m afraid of wasting away in a stagnant life. I’m terrified of remaining motionless. I’m afraid of being static. I’m terrified I will end up a stale person. I mean I’m afraid of never getting ahead in life. I’m afraid of never having achieved much of anything. I’m guilty of these fears because I have been sick a long time. I have been sick almost 6 years.
Sometimes, honestly, I could do nothing. I was stuck because I was ill. Too ill to think. Too ill to get out of bed. Too ill to concentrate. Too ill to take care of myself barely. Too ill to make myself lunch. Too ill to rise above being ill. But sometimes I feel a bit better and then I’m afraid because I don’t want to be stuck inside all the time. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to live with my parents much longer. I want to work. I don’t want to miss that event my friends are going to. I don’t want to be too fatigued. I don’t want to take so much time to rest. I want my old life back. But instead I get this life.
It’s not so bad. You get use to your own situation in life. But then I get terribly ill sometimes and I hate life. I’m afraid of disappearing. I’m afraid of never getting to be independent. I’m afraid of being independent. I’m afraid of too much. I’m afraid of of being forgotten. I’m afraid of having high hopes. I’m afraid of that fire within that wants to achieve. I’m afraid of being goal-oriented. I’m afraid of not getting what I most desire — I don’t want to hide the best parts of me.
I don’t want to hide behind manners and trying to fit in. I don’t want to hide behind polite conversation. I don’t want to hide behind false pretences. I want to believe that I can do most anything. I need to believe I have potential. My potential is what hides away. My dreams stay hidden. And every now and then I find a purpose. I want to believe that I can fulfill that purpose. I want to believe I have a purpose. I am potential. But I’m afraid to step into the light the place where creative energy thrives.
I want to write. I want to create. I want recognition. I want a career. I want people to see me not as that person who is sick but as that person who is capable despite sickness. I am plane afraid of not accomplishing my calling. I’m afraid of what people think. I’m afraid of what people say. I want to be capable again. I want so badly to just not be sick. I need so badly God’s grace. And need to achieve something I dream. Is that too much to ask? Or am I just living in fear?