Fear To Live For, p.1Ayush Srivastava
Fear To Live For
By Ayush Srivastava
2014 Copyright Ayush Srivastava
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXTRA: THE NEW GUYS
EXTRA: THE ATTEMPT TO QUIT
EXTRA: SHARING THE SECRET
EXTRA: COMING OUT
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Jonah Peters has lived his entire life making choices. Whether it was choosing which candy to buy or to choose which parent to live with after their divorce, he has always found himself at the crossroads, unsure of what he really wants. Then, one day, while exploring the scenic waterfall of his hometown as a six year old, he found the answer to his biggest dilemma: Through fear.
Ever since a stranger told him about his method of choosing, Jonah has always put himself in a controlled life-threatening situation to realize what he wants. But when he loses control in a dangerous situation that exposes his secret and makes him an outcast in the society, Andrew faces the biggest choice he ever made: To live through fear or to accept death's embrace.
I have lived my life through fears, including one I didn’t ever want to experience. Why?
One thing that plagues every single human mind. They may try to hide it, to cover it up but it is always there, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
People seek counsel, life experiences, faith, etc. practically any external source of motivation to rely on.
They just want to rely on it to take the blame if things go bad.
I was uncertain too. I made bad choices in the name of useless excuses too.
Until I met HIM and from that moment my life changed irrevocably.
For good? I still don't know. My story isn't over yet. But since I have time for it, I will tell you what happened so far. I will try to keep bitterness from clouding my words but I can't promise that really.
My name is Andrew Jonah Peters and this is my story.
12 years ago
“Andy, would you like to live with your mom or your dad?” My father asked me just as I came to kitchen for breakfast.
I immediately paused as I felt a sudden urge to be careful with my words. It was a nice sunny day outside which was a surprising delight when one lived in the small city of Witchbury Falls, named so after the waterfall nearby, where a cold draft could tickle you unexpectedly even on the hottest day of the season, which wasn’t really that hot. I could barely wait to go to Kevin’s, my neighbour and best friend, and play before I had heard that question.
After a small time, I said, “Can’t I stay with you both?” in a small voice. I heard a faint amount of tremble in my voice and quickly moved my hands behind me to hide their sudden slight shaking.
They gave me a small smile and Mom responded, “No, honey, you can’t. You see, your dad and I have decided to live apart now. I want to live in Seattle while your father wants to stay here.”
Before she could continue, I interrupted. “Why are you living apart? Kevin’s parents live together. Can’t we do something else?” My voice nearly broke at the last word as I tried my best to keep my tears at bay.
They said they were going to be apart but they loved each other and people in love don’t live apart. Yet they stand together and hold hands. I pointed this out to them. They smiled but didn’t move their hands.
Dad said, “Kiddo, we have had a lovely marriage and an even better gift in form of you. But the marriage has run its course now. We both agreed that it would be better if we just get divorced, live separately and see other people. She will change her name back to Winters from Peters but you can keep yours. Don’t worry, even if you choose one of us, you can still see the other at every holidays. Your mom and I are very good friends and for no price am I willing to leave her friendship, just like yours’ and Kevin’s.”
He looked at mom then, who nodded to me. I felt the first tear escape as I looked at both of them. I was just a six-year old. How could they expect me to know what I needed? I knew what I wanted but they weren’t even going to try for it.
Seeing my pained expression, I suppose, mom said, “Oh, Andy, don’t worry about answering right now. Take your time, dear and try to answer by sunset. We honestly won’t mind what you choose honey, so just choose what you want, not what we may want.”
Then, as if trying to dismiss that this discussion didn’t just happen, that their marriage wasn’t just ending, that our family wasn’t just falling apart, as if I wasn’t crying a little on the outside while I felt so hollow on the inside, Dad said, “The day is young and the sun is bright! How about you invite Kevin and I make you both some of my omelettes for breakfast, huh? Then you two can play outside for your whole afternoon. After all, it is a Sunday, isn’t it?”
He was trying to make me feel better but I saw it as clearly as I could see through a glass of water.
We lived in a two story bungalow near the end of the street. On the outside, our house was just like any other house in the city but like every other house, it’s inside had a ‘life’ of its own, as Mom liked to call it. Kevin’s house was decorated in sky blue colour and white walls, promoting a calm view while ours, decorated by both of my parents when they were newly married, was coloured bright yellow and light green, to remind people of sunny days and green fields. I had my room decorated with posters and pictures of my favourite cartoons and my parents had promised me that I could re-decorate my room as many times as I wanted once I was eight, which was only one and a half years far.
I nodded at them slowly and wiped my tears off. I tried to smile at them but I felt my lip tremble a little. They smiled back at me but it felt faked and I knew they were just hurt by my pain. I walked outside my house and began to walk towards the nearby woods. There was a hiking trail near our house that led to the waterfall. I knew I should get Kevin and talk to him. He probably wouldn’t have anything to say to make me feel better but I knew that he would definitely try to distract me. He was just a month older than me but often treated me as if I was years younger than him. And though I like it, I would never tell him that.
But right now, I wanted to be alone. I did not want any distraction and I doubted Kevin could do anything to help me with my choice. I just kept thinking about how hard this choice was and how I shouldn’t have to make it while walking. I began to make lists in favour of both mom and dad. Granny always said that making lists was a grown-up thing to do when making a hard choice and since I am a grown-up, I should make lists too.
I love her.
She makes great pancakes.
She reads me a bedtime story every night.
She always helps to keep my toys together.
The list was almost endless. When I felt the most important ones had been mentioned, I began to think for my father.
I love him.
He plays catch with me.
He allows me to watch cartoons longer than I should.
Just like the previous one, this list was endless too.
I tried to compare but it was like trying to compare a stone with a bird. Two different things.
I was brought out of my thoughts when I stumbled upon a pebble and fell. My hands were a little scratched and they hurt but it wasn’t much. It was then I looked around and saw that I was actually near the bottom of the waterfall. I realised that I must have walked along the trail as I kept thinking.
The sound of the falling water was just amazing to hear. It helped me to calm down. I wasn’t scared of getting lost. I had come here with my parents often (and sometimes came here alone just because I wanted to) so I knew the place very well.
I walked to the bank and sat on the soft grass there, looking at the beauty of water falling from such a height to below and rocks seemed to peep from behind the curtain of water. The waterfall existed because the place had a little uneven terrain – a new word I had recently learned. It was part of some river but I couldn’t remember which one.
People often came from different places to visit the falls and take some photos. I sat on the grass and after some time, the thoughts returned. I was still unsure about what I should choose when I saw a shirtless man come into view and step directly below the falling water on one of the slippery rocks.
Scared, I screamed.
Fear To Live For by Ayush Srivastava / History & Fiction have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on32 votes