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AFRAID


I was all alone. I lived with four other guys in a huge, old house just off the campus of Baylor University, but I was the only one home. I must have been twenty-one or twenty-two – a grown man, practically a college graduate – but I was afraid. There was usually a surplus of noise in the house, but, with everyone gone, it was quiet. And that's when you could hear the creaking and the other sounds.


I tried sleeping with the lights out, but I just lay there, listening. In the dark, the unknown imposed itself on my imagination, and I, who knew better, convinced myself that I would be safer in the light. So, I got up and turned on – not just the light in my room – but every light in the house. Upstairs and downstairs. That old barn was lit up like a Christmas tree!


I lay across the bed, fully clothed--dressed for action, I guess--and I refused to close my eyes. If anything was going to 'get' me, it had to show itself in the full light of incandescent splendor. And...it had to catch me!


I lay there, like a child, waiting for the dawn, waiting for morning, waiting for day to come. If only daylight would come, everything would be better.

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