Old Enemies

I called Fear seven days ago.

I thought I had punched in Hannah’s number, but I must have misdialed—when the phone came off its cradle with a static crunch, She answered in her broken glass voice, straight into my stomach. I hung up.

I saw Fear five days ago.

It was a chilly day. His grave slumped in front of me: 1996-2008. In the glossy marble, I saw Her reflection, festering skin, breathing disease. I turned around. She must have run.

I ate with Fear three days ago.

The news was on, the only light besides the small chandelier above the table. They talked about E. coli and exotic influenzas, and suddenly She was there cooking at the stove. She set the plate in front of me. I didn’t eat that night.

It is Thursday now. I have not seen Fear since Monday, and as I walk to work, my foot steps off the sidewalk. I hear the blare of horns to the left, and She is there, driving the bus. She cannot brake in time, because She doesn’t want to.

We’ve hated each other for so long, and now She’s won.

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