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datatime: 2022-10-05 16:07:18 Author:HfIxHBhO

He knelt beside me and spoke softly, I can smell your fear. I know you don't like close places.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

Then why do it?

What difference would it make if you couldn't climb down in that stinking hole? You'll never have to do it again, Anita. Just don't do it.

He shook his head. I let this happen. I'll get him out.

I looked at him, at the puzzlement in his face, his eyes, which had bled back to their normal, perfect brown. I'd been trying to explain shit like this to Richard for a few years now. I finally realized that he would never understand and I was tired of trying to explain myself, not just to Richard, to everybody.

I shook my head. I have to do it, Richard.

I stared back into the hole and let myself acknowledge just how afraid I was. So afraid that I could taste something flat and metallic on my tongue. So afraid that my pulse was hammering in my throat, like a trapped thing. My voice came out calm, normal. I was glad. It doesn't matter that I'm afraid. I touched the flashlight, tried to pull it from his hand, but he held on. And, short of playing tug of war -- which I would probably lose -- I wasn't getting it away from him.

He shook his head. I let this happen. I'll get him out.

Why? He studied my face like he'd memorize it.

I shook my head. I'm not competing with you, Richard, or anyone else. I don't give a shit who's better or faster or braver.

Then why do it?

I shook my head. I have to do it, Richard.

I looked at him, at the puzzlement in his face, his eyes, which had bled back to their normal, perfect brown. I'd been trying to explain shit like this to Richard for a few years now. I finally realized that he would never understand and I was tired of trying to explain myself, not just to Richard, to everybody.

If I can crawl down into that hole.

Why do you have to be the toughest, the bravest? Why can't you, just once, let me do something for you? Going down in the hole doesn't scare me. Let me do this for you. Please. His voice was still soft, and he was leaning into me enough so that I could smell the drying blood on him, the richness of fresh blood in his mouth, as if some small cut had not healed completely.

I looked at him, at the puzzlement in his face, his eyes, which had bled back to their normal, perfect brown. I'd been trying to explain shit like this to Richard for a few years now. I finally realized that he would never understand and I was tired of trying to explain myself, not just to Richard, to everybody.

Why? Why do you need to know that? You've proven to me and everyone here that you're tough. You don't have anything left to prove to us.

He knelt beside me and spoke softly, I can smell your fear. I know you don't like close places.

Why? and his voice held the first hint of anger, like a slap of warmth.

He shook his head. I let this happen. I'll get him out.

He held on with both hands. Why do you have to do this? Just tell me that. You're so scared your mouth is dry. I can taste it on your breath.

I shook my head. I have to do it, Richard.

I shrugged. Maybe, but I still have to do it.

Why? and his voice held the first hint of anger, like a slap of warmth.

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