I leaned in as he softly nibbled my lips while “Señorita” played in the background.
CRASH! I dart down the long corridor and jump inside my bedroom. Slamming the door behind me, I survey the room in a panic before shimming my tiny body under my twin-sized bed. I inhale deeply, taking in the dust mites and cobwebs inside my windpipe, down my throat, past my voice box, and into my lungs. I hold it all inside: the fear that my father will hurt my mother, that a mouse will find me in the dark and devour me limb from limb, and that my life will always be outside of my control.
My father’s footsteps grow closer. I flinch as he stomps down the long corridor and past my bedroom. CRASH! He slams the door behind him and I release, exhaling slowly to calm my anxiety. Relief washes over me. The fear dissipates and I am freed from its darkness if only for a moment. Because Fear always finds me. Specifically, the fear of getting my heart broken and being eaten alive by consuming feelings of love that I have little control over. It is always lurking beneath the surface, like a dark shadow following my every move.
It finds me, but I no longer feed it cobwebs and dust mites. Because on May 21st, 2022, Mami’s 73rd birthday, I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and told Fear to fuck off. I looked at her dead in the eyes and demanded that she release me from her hold so that I can connect emotionally without holding my breath or waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"If I get hurt, I get hurt,” I said to my reflection, “you will be fine. So let go.”
And just like that, I felt lighter, no longer feeling a need to run away as a form of protection. No longer wearing impenetrable and emotionally debilitating armor. No longer afraid to crash.
CRASH! I slammed the door behind me, abandoning Fear, and floated into the strong, warm arms of a man named Eric.
CRASH! I leaned in as he caressed my back and softly nibbled my lips while “Señorita” played in the background under a sign that read “Changing Times.”
CRASH! Our eyes danced to the rhythm of the music as our energetic pull intensified.
CRASH! All eyes on us and our bubble, filled with the warmth, safety, and tenderness that we all long for.
The tragedy that occurred in Uvalde, TX has left me heartbroken, as I’m sure all of you are. Please consider donating to these legitimate organizations that are aiding the families.
Verified donation hub for all families on GoFundMe
A fundraiser organized by VictimsFirst, a network of survivors and relatives affected by previous mass shootings.
Uvalde school district opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. Send checks through the mail to the "Robb School Memorial Fund" or donate money through Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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