Sunday, November 29, 2015

Doubt & Fear

Doubt & Fear ©                       
Beth Bowland

Doubt & Fear

Doubt was a beautiful woman who had a great job and a caring family, as well as a beautiful home in a decent subdivision. But of course she had major doubts about all of this. One day while out shopping for knick-knacks for her house, she bumped into a man, and as their eyes locked she thought he was the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on, but then on the other hand, she doubted it.
“Hello. My name is Fear,” said the man.
“Nice to meet you, Fear. My name is Doubt.”
Fear was a single man, who worked in a high-power position, in a high-power company, that used quite a bit of high-power energy on a daily basis to operate.
Fear was instantly smitten by the lovely Doubt. He wanted to ask her on a date. However, he was too fearful to ask. Doubt was attracted to Fear, but she doubted that he felt the same. They stood for a moment just looking at each other, until the owner of the Shoppe, Mrs. Busybody, noticed them staring at each other.
Mrs. Busybody was an elderly woman, who had lived in the town of Gloom all of her life, as did her parents and her parents’ parents. Along with owning and running the Shoppe she busied herself in everyone’s business.
“Well, if it isn’t Fear and Doubt. I didn’t know you two were dating,” said Mrs. Busybody.
Fear removed his gaze from Doubt and focused on Mrs. Busybody. “No, ma’am. We just met.”
Mrs. Busybody shrugged. “Well, since I’ve known both of you since you were born, I think it’d be a splendid idea if you two had lunch together inside the Shoppe. I’ve made a lovely roast that should be just about ready.”
Doubt and Fear agreed and enjoyed a scrumptious lunch, with Mrs. Busybody never more than a few feet away. 
They continued to meet for lunch, and as the weeks and months passed by, they became closer and decided to marry. The entire town of Gloom came out to support the couple on their special day. Mayor Anxiety performed the ceremony, which was very brief due to the mayor’s agitation towards the day. He quickly rattled off the vows and dismissed himself after the couple kissed.  There was no reception because the people of Gloom became depressed and decided to go back to their homes.
Doubt and Fear purchased a new home that was located on the far east side of Gloom, practically on the border of the neighboring town of Glee. They settled nicely into their new relationship. However, Fear was fearful someone would come steal his lovely wife away. While Doubt had second thoughts.
“Honey, I need to tell you something,” said Doubt.
“Yes,” said Fear, thinking the worst.
“I’m pregnant,” said Doubt.
Fear fainted.
Nine months later, Doubt gave birth to a beautiful little girl. They named her Limited. Her parents smothered her with care until the day she was to begin school.
Limited was very small in stature and couldn’t quite catch on to the simplest of tasks. As she struggled to board the school bus, she felt someone give her a push from behind. She turned to see a girl smiling at her.
“Hi. You looked like you needed a push,” she said. “My name is Hope.”
“Thank you,” said Limited.
“Do you want to be my friend?” asked Hope.
The two sat next to each other on the bus and continued to do so every day. They played together at recess and sat next to each other during lunch.
One evening as Limited ate dinner with her parents, she asked if her best friend and her parents could come to dinner.
“They probably don’t want to come over,” said Doubt.
“Oh, well. I suppose so,” said Fear. “But we gotta watch them. We can never be too careful these days with the crime rate. I’m a little nervous about strangers in the house.”
The following weekend Hope arrived at the front door, along with her parents.
Limited answered the door as Doubt stood behind her and Fear peeked through the curtains.
“Hi, Hope.”
“Hi, Limited. This is my mother, Grace, and my father, Mercy.”
Grace and Mercy smiled broadly at the family. Joy radiated from their faces. There was something about them that caused Fear and Doubt to want to run and hide.
“I don’t like them,” Fear whispered to his wife.
“Neither do I. Why are they smiling so much? There is no need to show all of your teeth to strangers.”
As they sat down to dinner, Fear and Doubt continued to eye their guests suspiciously.
Mercy cleared his throat. “My wife and I would like Limited to go hiking with us tomorrow. Would that be okay?”
Limited looked at her parents with pleading eyes. “Oh, please say yes.”
Fear’s fork dropped onto his plate. “Hiking! Are you crazy? You could fall and crack your skull!”
“No, dear. You wouldn’t be any good at it. So, why try?” said Doubt.
Hope gently patted Limited’s hand under the table and smiled at her.  
“We could walk slowly,” said Hope.
Fear shook his head feverishly back and forth. “Absolutely not! She would have a tragic accident.”
Hope and Limited remained friends and continued to sit next to each other on the bus and during lunch. However, Limited wasn’t allowed to attend school events, go to Hope’s house, or try out for any sports. Though the reasons given varied, they all meant no.
“May I try out for cheerleading?” asked Limited.
“You’d never make it,” said Doubt.
“You’d crack your skull,” said Fear.
“May I compete in the spelling bee? My teacher highly suggested that I try,” said Limited.
“Why try? You come from a family of bad spellers,” said Doubt.
“You could fall off the stage and crack your skull,” said Fear.
“The school is holding class elections. Hope says I should run for president,” said Limited.
“President? No one would vote for you,” said Doubt.
“Everyone would be out to get you if you were president,” said Fear, “and besides while giving your speech you could…”
“Fall and crack my skull, “Limited interrupted. “I know!”
Fear huffed. “Actually, I was going to say get electrocuted by the microphone!”
This continued throughout grade school, middle school, and even high school. But Hope remained Limited’s best friend.
Finally the time came for the girls to attend college. The two friends were both accepted into The University a few hours away. Limited’s parents reluctantly allowed her to go. Hope encouraged Limited to participate in anything and everything she wanted.
One day Limited and Hope walked down the hallway and saw a notice on the board that class officer elections were being held.
Hope ran over and grabbed an application. “Limited. You’ve got to run for president. I know you’d get elected.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said Limited. “No one would vote for me.”
“You don’t know that. You have to try,” said Hope, as she handed the application to her friend.
Limited felt insecure as she scribbled her information onto the form. Her parents’ words rang in her ears.
Limited stopped writing. “I can’t. I won’t.”
Hope stood in front of Limited, grabbed her by the shoulders, and looked her in the eyes. “You can. You will.”
As Limited stared back into Hope’s eyes, she felt a small surge of courage rise up within her. She quickly finished the application and turned it in. Two weeks later, they stood together during the student council forum, awaiting the announcements of the winners.
The senior class president stood. “Congratulations…Limited. You are the freshman class president. Again, congratulations!”
Hope hugged Limited as tears streamed down both of their faces.
The next day everything appeared new. She felt so alive and happy. Something had changed within her so she took steps to change her name to match how she felt. Several weeks later as she walked down the hallway towards the lunchroom to meet Hope, several students stopped to look at her.
“Hey, Limited. We heard that you changed your name.”
“Yes,” she smiled. “I’m now Limitless.”

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