Apathy and Fear

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George Bernard Shaw once said, “Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.” Apathy is quite possibly the emotion, or lack thereof, I detest the most. This aloofness causes other humans to feel unappreciated, bitter, desperate, melancholic, and so on. Don’t you hate it when you’re sharing a story and it seems as though the other person just doesn’t care? Of course, these people have their problems and issues to deal with, but this lack of caring is simply disinheartening.


Last summer an incident occurred to my best friend and me. When we told others about this, I suppose they just didn’t understand our fear from that night. Maybe they weren’t aware of how many emotions we went through that night or how intense these emotions were. Unfortunately, I feel like I’m giving people the benefit of the doubt. My cynical mind and idealist heart, I fear, will forever be at war.


For two weeks out of those hot three months, I ventured to El Paso with Katie, my closest friend, and her family. We were to be busy shopping, sight-seeing, brushing up on local history, and visiting her relatives. One night, while her mom and aunt were at a wedding, we decided to sit outside of her grandmother’s apartment and wave at the enormous number of patrons leaving the nearby mall. We bade good nights and shouted compliments to all those who passed. Some looked up, smiled and waved, while others simply ignored the energetic teens above them. The weather was remarkably pleasant and stars were shining brightly upon us.


Unfortunately, Katie’s little brother kept bothering us again and again and again. He was lonely because his closest cousin had left that very same day. We did not want to talk about air-soft guns and cheats to violent video games. To escape this unwanted agitation, we moved further down the sidewalk to a poorly-lit area. It seems ominous now, but then, we were oblivious to the danger. Innocent chatter and laughter filled the air around us. Grins and tears of happiness were plastered onto our faces like masks.


In the midst of giggling, we saw a man in a white t-shirt about one hundred feet from us on his cell phone, waving in our direction. We simply stared at him, perplexed. His face was obscured by the darkness that enveloped him. Being the only ones around, we were quite frightened. “I hope he’s mistaken,” my friend whispered. Attempting to ignore him, we continued talking but kept a close eye on him. After about what seemed like about five minutes of incessant waving, he left. We breathed a sigh of relief in unison, but what had just occurred was still heavy upon our minds. Although still on edge and paranoid, we tried to resume our earlier conversation.


That’s when it happened. It was only for a split second, but I glimpsed the same man from earlier peeking out at us from behind the corner of the building. My heart began to race and my mind began to panic. I told Katie what I had witnessed, and at first, she didn’t believe me. It’s not that she didn’t care. These kinds of things only happen in sick, twisted horror movies and we sure weren’t actresses. Eventually, she saw that I wasn’t lying and became equally, if not more, frantic than I. Katie called her mother but, you guessed it, she didn’t answer. We began to look for anything we could use as a defense against this maniacal killer. The rocks lying on the ground would have been useless against an attack seeing as both of us lack any sort of hand-eye coordination. We’re soccer players for goodness sake. She and I were shaking with adrenaline and our thoughts and plans outraced our minds.


After 10 minutes that seemed like hours, we saw Katie’s mother and aunt drive into the parking lot like angels upon a cloud. We sprinted over to them and again, breathed a well-deserved sigh of relief. We relayed our vignette to the tipsy sisters, but they, of course, looked over it like it wasn’t even worth their time. This was quite possibly one of the scariest experiences of our lives, yet they don’t care. They’re indifferent. The tales of teenagers never seem to conjure any emotions out of adults.





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