Challenge Fear

What is fear? It is not a stranger, for I have once played Fear in a game of chess. Fear harassed my ‘knights’ of will and ‘pawns’ of dignity. For each move Fear made, his sinister voice, whispering in my ear, “I will not stop hunting you,” became louder and louder. Fear was tricky, and I could never stay out of check for more than a few turns. It was frustrating how fear had not been a threat when the game first started, when I dominated the board with another emotion. I had been sixteen years old and had met Roy, the sweetest man I could ever imagine. What I felt for Roy was genuine, and love was the emotion that controlled the game. Then Fear took over.

Fear first captured me with threats. “If you don’t stop talking to that boy, I’m going to leave you!” Roy would say. I tried to imagine what life would be like without love. Even when I thought about it, I became scared. Suddenly, instead of leading the game, I was defending my side, and was catering to the threats Fear brought upon me. Fear had me in check. I could not make a move.

Fear became nastier. His moves became all the more clever. I could no longer avoid any of his traps. Roy always found something to be irritated with. Every move I made was wrong, for Fear outsmarted me each time. Every step I took revolved around avoiding Fear’s tricks and supplying Roy’s satisfaction, for Roy became angry with everything I did. Love had left my heart and I was exposed to Fear. I had no more defenses. The threats turned into actual attacks, on and off the chess game. Roy had been so unsatisfied, that he turned to using his fists on me. Fear was winning.

I was at the point where I had fallen into so many traps set by Fear that I involuntarily began to avoid all the moves I could make to help bring back my defenses. However, even when I tried to evade, Fear still captured me. I was hearing the word ‘check’ every time I let go of one of my pieces. My army shrunk down so small, almost as small as Roy’s insults and punches made me feel. I had only one piece left: my king. I was running all over the board, panicking. There was no place for me to hide from Fear. His traps were set at every corner. My heart raced and my palms sweat. My throat contracted and I could no longer breathe. I was literally paralyzed with fear.

I looked up at Fear. His impending presence intimidated me and made me feel weak. His traps that scattered the board were identical to Roy’s fist. One more move and the game would be over. I would lose, and Fear would win. My emotion of love had dissolved and I was a king left defenseless, on a chess board all by myself, with Fear’s bishops and rooks surrounding me. I hung my head low and listened to Fear’s wicked laugh, awaiting the fist of Roy.

Checkmate.





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