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I Will Follow You Into The Dark

2661 words - 11 pages

I Will Follow You into the DarkBy: Danielle DeFreitasThe moving truck was the first thing I remember seeing. A large, white rectangle attached to a blue cab. Men wearing matching blue uniforms were unloading cardboard boxes and furniture. My sister and I spied from our perch atop the swing set. Our backyards were all connected. The new family was puttering around the house, a mom, a dad, a little boy and an older girl. I would have sworn the girl was Snow White because of her fair skin, but her head was hidden behind a curtain of naturally white hair. It was the first time I met her. I was six, starting kindergarten and she'd just moved to Burlington, her house diagonally behind ours. She was the same age as my sister, 9 going on 10, and they quickly became best friends. I was shy and had only managed to make two friends in my tender six years, but she always let me play with them. For years we were best friends, blissfully unaware of the dangers of the real world, the pain that was about to come our way. It seems to me that tragedy only strikes when it is completely and totally unexpected. When it seems that you are fully on the top of the world, everything that was holding you up comes crashing down and leaves you wholly "dazed and confused". Afterward, when you look around at the mess, everything looks so devastated that you think there is no way you could possibly pick up the pieces and move on to bigger and greater things. In fact, when someone comes along and sees your pitiful situation and tells you that you should get over it, you're quick to shove them out of the way so you can go and mourn every devastating piece that brought you down. My problem is that one event, one tragedy, has decidedly shaped my entire life, manifesting itself into a fear of the unknown, of questions without answers, of situations I can't control, of not moving forward.A while back, when I still had my Golden Retriever, Butterscotch, I used to bring her out to Tom Thompson Public School almost every weekend. It was a quiet time, a time for reflection, for musing, for dreaming. It had been a warm July day the last time Butter and I had gone to the park. Late afternoon sunshine cast long shadows across the ground as we walked from the parking lot towards the creek. At one point, Butter stood still, spun around and started barking, her ears lifted, her body alert as she barked at some unknown person, place or thing behind me. I stopped and looked towards where she was barking and saw a police cruiser blocking access to the parking lot. We were far enough away that I couldn't see what was happening but I felt a prick of fear searing my peace of mind. Police cruisers were not welcome companions on my walk. I tried to brush away the cobweb of fear spinning across my mind as I started walking again. But it was a losing battle. Goaded by the past, triggered into fear of the unknown meaning of a police car's presence, my mind slipped out of cruise control and into...

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