holding on

I thought I was getting something to hold on to, right until I had to let go.

There were actual monsters under my bed when I was a kid. That's always been the official story, as it were. They were really there. If I stopped believing, that meant I'd lost something. It's not even that I liked my childhood much, but I refused to let go of it. I couldn't tell anyone, but I still believed in monsters coming out of the dark. I shut the door quickly and I hid under the covers when the lights were out.

My girlfriend finally cured me of this childhood fear of monsters, and I couldn't forgive her for it. She didn't know she was doing it, of course, because some things are meant to be secrets, but she liked waking me up in the mornings by jumping on the bed, and eventually I got used to it. I'd laugh instead of wake up in a panic, sure that they'd finally got me.

And I stopped jumping at sudden noises in movies, or even loud noises in general. I always used to startle so easy. It's gone now. Another little trait I couldn't hold on to. She's changed me. There are no monsters anymore. The darkness holds no mysteries. Some nights I don't even bother turning off the lights, because where's the fear? What's the point?

I used to love being alone, because of that fear. That was where I was most alive. She's gone now, though, and now instead of being afraid I just feel lonely. I've tried to pretend there are still monsters, but instead of terrifying hell beasts they're just like me: sad things in the dark that really just want to not be alone anymore.

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