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datatime: 2022-09-30 17:48:42 Author:IVOkaNtV

I held my hand out for the flashlight.

And I can taste fresh blood on yours, but I have to do it because it scares me.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

I sighed. Less and less scares me, Richard. So when I find something that does bother me, I have to test it. I have to see if I can do it.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

Then why do it?

Just to see if I can.

He shook his head. This isn't courage, Anita, this is stubbornness.

He shook his head. I let this happen. I'll get him out.

I shook my head. I'm not competing with you, Richard, or anyone else. I don't give a shit who's better or faster or braver.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

Because it scares me, and I have to know if I can.

If I can crawl down into that hole.

Give me the flashlight, Richard.

Because it scares me, and I have to know if I can.

I shook my head. No. He's mine.

If I can crawl down into that hole.

And I can taste fresh blood on yours, but I have to do it because it scares me.

I sighed. Less and less scares me, Richard. So when I find something that does bother me, I have to test it. I have to see if I can do it.

I looked at him, at the puzzlement in his face, his eyes, which had bled back to their normal, perfect brown. I'd been trying to explain shit like this to Richard for a few years now. I finally realized that he would never understand and I was tired of trying to explain myself, not just to Richard, to everybody.

And I can taste fresh blood on yours, but I have to do it because it scares me.

To me, Richard, I have something left to prove to me.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

I looked at him, at the puzzlement in his face, his eyes, which had bled back to their normal, perfect brown. I'd been trying to explain shit like this to Richard for a few years now. I finally realized that he would never understand and I was tired of trying to explain myself, not just to Richard, to everybody.

To me, Richard, I have something left to prove to me.

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