Five Things

by JM Prescott

I'm afraid of five things.

Number five. Speaking.

I have the right to remain silent. If I waive that right everything I say can and will be used against me like a razor dragged across my neck. I run my finger along my throat and feel my vulnerability. I bite my tongue until it bleeds - I promise I won't say a word. I will stand here and be silent.

Number four. Watchers.

I look into her eyes, sizing up my extra weight, my sad three-year-old, sales rack T-shirts. Those eyes look at me. And I don't like what they see.

Number three. Feeling.

I feel her eyes on me like her disapproval; like a sun burn that covers my skin and sucks the life out of me. And makes me shy of the sun. But I can't look away from her eyes no matter how I feel.

Number two. Feeling!

I'm angry. I'm so angry. I hate everything I see. I spit in her face and she scowls back at me. So many lines. She's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. Rage rises in me and I smash her face in. She spits back and sprays me with glass, cutting my skin. She cuts my throat, my arms, my hands, my stomach, my face. Blood pools on the broken mirror. Thousands of eyes look up at me. Judging me. I bite my tongue and taste the blood. I clean up the mess without clinking the glass. I bandage my wrist and don't say a word.

Number one.

Hearing the truth and knowing that my fears are reflected beyond the broken glass.