Story A Day #5: Courage

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I’m lying on my side, curled into a comma. My eyes are squeezed shut, the blanket is over my ear.

I should probably get up. It would be the brave thing to do.

I should get up, go downstairs, and find out what that thunk was.

That would the grown-up approach.

Then I could laugh at the knickknack, picture frame, heavy book that caused me all the distress. I could post it on Instagram, on Twitter. I could get sympathy from all my friends who live alone and who have been terror-struck by a fallen object in the dark. I can picture the likes, the hearts, the long string of comments saying ‘Same.’ The idea gives me courage.

I slow my breathing and uncurl under the blankets. I toss them off and swing my legs over the side of the bed.

I’m an adult, a very capable adult, and I can take care of myself.

I roll my shoulders back. I shift into standing.

I grab my phone from my dresser, flick on the the flashlight. Overhead lights will wake me completely, I don’t want that.

My first step shoots a creaking noise across the floorboards into the hall. I imagine them cracking, like the ice on a pond, disaster imminent.

I hear the voice from downstairs.

He just says, “Oh.”