I saw her again today. Twenty years…but those eyes are unforgettable. The eyes of a predator lurking for a prey. Small eyes, slippery like oil, with the color of dark green water. She looked tired and sad and, normally, I would go to her to say hi…because I know how a smile and a good word can change someone’s day in better. Still, the same old feeling…So, here’s the story.

Z. was my mother’s best friend, so she used to spend a lot of time in our home. her stories were always about guys and how they’re all so inferior and she can’t find a normal decent one…I didn’t quite understood, but my mother seemed to care about her.

I was six when my parents took me to a swimming pool where I was supposed to learn how to swim. The swimming instructor was Z., well, unofficially, but my parents trusted her. I remember standing at the edge of the swimming pool, holding hands in a perfect line: me, Z. and two other girls. Then it happen. The moment when she took my hand in her, I had a cold sensation. And a vision: dark water.

I knew right then that I wont jump. I knew I’ll have the strength to stand, even when an adult and two other children were pulling me into the water. So I did stand. Was it fear? Was it something deeper?

Ten years later, Z. became “a healer”. A spiritual healer. It sounds strange, but in a post-communist society, people were naive enough (and curious enough) to follow and accept the things that seemed beyond normality. My family did, at least.

So, back then, it wasn’t so strange to accept that our home needs a “purifying process”. Still, when Z. started to pronounce her incantations, the same cold sensation made me aware that the “purifying” ritual has nothing pure in it. So I stepped out and told her that what she’s doing has nothing to do with God and our faith. I never told her (or anyone else) about the vision I had. Dark eyes. That’s what I saw in my mind…

I rushed to my room, trying to escape the unsettling feeling. She followed me.

-You’re always so afraid, aren’t you? Look at you, you’re trembling? That’s exactly why we need to continue…


-Well, then I’ll leave. But…just know…these fears of yours come from the evil. What will you do with them? Without my help…

I slammed the door and she never came back. At least, not in my presence.

Tears of frustration were running down my cheeks. What will I do with my fears. Back then I didn’t knew what to say. Now, twenty years later, I guess I have my answer.

I will use them wisely. And always follow my inner voice. And my faith.


3 thoughts on “Smile into the fear

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