Monday, 6 April 2015

Everyone, Everywhere #AtoZchallenge




I stand with my hand on the door handle; I can do this. Other people manage it all the time, after all; they walk open their door and walk outside as though it’s no big thing. But they don’t know what I know. They don’t know of the danger and animosity that’s waiting for them.
My flat is warm; it wraps around me like a blanket. When I stand at my front door, I feel like a tortoise; my face peaking out, but my body hidden, protected by the walls around me. There are too many people outside, they’re everywhere, crawling around like little ants, scurrying this way and that, unpredictable, confusing.
Two days ago, I sat at my dining table and drank coffee with Arthur, my friend. He understands. Before I learnt how to do my shopping online, he would buy groceries from the shop; a little bit at a time, as much as he could carry. Now, he brings cake and we drink coffee together; he says if he didn’t, I’d forget who I am, I’d simply fade away.
Sometimes he gives me flowers so I have a bit of the outside in my house.
He comes most days but today he’s late, two hours later than normal.
I’m worried.
So I’m standing at my door, trying to leave my flat because I know Arthur needs me. He might be lying on his bathroom floor, unable to move. He might have broken a bone, or had a stroke, or… worse. I have to leave my flat, my protective shell. I have to help my friend.

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60 comments:

  1. A perfect picture of agoraphobia. Quite a desperate feel. I'm sure Arthur just got held up. Well, I hope so anyway.

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  2. I hope Arthur is okay. So much fear in the piece and yet courage too.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  3. I hope the protagonist finds the courage to leave the flat and discovers it's not so bad after all. ~Miriam

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  4. I feel the desperation. Awesome piece.

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  5. Very moving, touching post. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. For someone such as me who loves to be outside, the thought of agoraphobia scares the daylight out of me - literally!

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    1. I've just come home from walking the dog in a beautifully warm, open nature reserve - so I wholeheartedly agree with you Keith. It must be a very lonely world to live in.

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  7. Oh this is good. In the protag's shoes right off the bat. Love how she cares so much for her friend to push herself, even if only to the front door, not yet open. We can only hope she follows through... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. I hope she does, Lisa, for her's and Arthur's sake :-)

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  8. Agoraphobia is a sad and altering phobia. So many people have it than we realize and their fear is tremendous. You did a great job portraying this.

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  9. Stopping by during the #Challenge. Love finding a blog that is easy to read, well taken care of like yours. An ambitious theme well presented. Thank you. Hope you will have time to visit me in North Carolina during busy April. I'll be back.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Stepheny. I liked your fairy light post :-)

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  10. That's sad to think of someone hiding when they are older, slowly withdrawing from the world.

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    1. And also the reasons why they might do so, Alex.

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  11. Hi Annalisa - wonderful read and so true to life .. the worry, the fear ... the great outdoors - as Nick say Agoraphobia ... I hope Arthur doesn't desert her, when she finds him .. he's ok ...

    Take care - and the Tamar must be a wonderful river to go down - I really need to stop off sometime and not belt on to Penzance! Thanks for your comment on my E .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary - yes, I hope everything works out too. I know I wrote it, but I never know everything!

      The Tamar is beautiful indeed!

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  12. neat story and I sure hope the step is made out the door to help or find Arthur. Good stuff

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  13. I like it. Her willingness to leave for Arthur's sake shows how important he is to her.

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    1. Yes, I think their friendship is very important.

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  14. Dilemma. Love those in stories.

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  15. I worked with an agoraphobe once. Sweet lady, but petrified of everything. My guess is, Arthur will not be getting help any time soon!

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    1. Oh, I hope you're wrong Elizabeth - she seemed quite determined!

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  16. I especially love that line about having a bit of the outside in your house; it definitely goes to show how people appreciate things that other people take for granted.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, sometimes those simple gestures mean so much.

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  17. I understand how she feels. I live in L.A. with ten million other people. At times, I also feel like, There are too many people outside.
    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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    1. Oh, that is a lot of people! I can understand how you'd feel there might be slightly too many, sometimes :-)

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  18. Lovely. The outside world can be a scary place.

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    1. Yes, it can, Beverly. Thanks for visiting :-)

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  19. Amazing! I'm hooked, whether the bait and hook were meant for me or not.

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  20. I do hope she mskes it to arthur's place.

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    1. Me too, Liz - I'm really rooting for the both of them.

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  21. Terrific piece of writing, full of suspense. I can feel the character's worry, dread, fear and anxiety. I actually had a friend (he died a while ago) who lived with this fear/phobia. He seldom left the comfort and safety of his tiny apartment. He was truly afraid of the outside world. He hadn't been like that all of his life, only in his latter years and I often wonder what happened to make him so fearful. He died in his early 50's and had not been outside his apartment in years

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    1. Such a shame for your friend, Melissa.

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  22. I especially liked the people everywhere " crawling around like little ants, scurrying this way and that, unpredictable, confusing."

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  23. I love this piece! So many people deal with this type of crippling fear, I really got into the character.

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    1. I'm glad I managed to do the fear justice!

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  24. Oh nice!!!

    Will she save Arthur... can she be brave enough.. .and what scary adventures await this meek, mysterious mademoiselle (Sorry, I thought it was the M day :)

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    1. Thanks Mark... It better not be M day, or I'm way behind :-)

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  25. I hope she gets there. It's so hard to make things work when there's fear like this. I have my fingers crossed (also, you have a great way of putting these emotions into words, great job!)

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    1. Thanks Rena. My fingers are crossed to.

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  26. My favorite part is Arthur coming to visit her so she doesn't forget who she is. Like he can see how much she's faded and she's almost gone already. I hope he's skipped that day in an effort to help her fight to live again.

    Beautiful piece!

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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  27. I was left worried about Arthur, I hope he is okay and that she is able to get to him. I can't even imagine what it's like to have agoraphobia. So sad.

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    1. I hope he'll be okay too. I hope she'll be able to leave her flat to find him.

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  28. Great descriptions here, Annalisa. I hope Arthur is ok and that his friend conquers their fear to get to him. I wonder if he's done it on purpose to draw him out.

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    1. If he did it on purpose, Heather, that might put a strain on the friendship.

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