The Fear Of

Chapter One


Dear Dad and siblings who – I grudgingly have to admit – have grown on me over the past years,

I'm running away from home. Wait! Don't call the cops or dial 911 or anything. Let me first explain the entire thing before any of you do anything inane, reckless, stupid… or maybe even (and most likely) all three. Put the phone down, Lucy! I know you. You're probably clutching that Blackberry of yours, ready to give Carter a call. Don't bother because he wouldn't care at all. I'm sure of it.

Right, so as I was saying, I'm running away. Now, I've thought about this for an ample amount of time. Sixteen minutes, just so you know. I'm pretty sure that I know what I'm doing. This is all for the best anyway. I don't think I can handle all the weight of my responsibilities on my shoulders anymore and I don't think – well, to spare you of my unnecessary melodrama, I'm giving up. Not on you guys, of course, but on me. I'm just not the right person, you know?

Moving on, here's a list of things you need to remember once I'm gone:

One: The spare house key is no longer found under the doormat. I placed it inside the mouth of the redheaded garden gnome with the green hat near the front porch. It's much safer there, don't you think?

Two: Make sure that Sam gets his glass of warm milk at exactly 8:22 P.M. That way he'd be asleep by 9:30. Disobey this little note and you will lament over it, I assure you. You will.

Three: Do not get any koalas in the house! Lucy is allergic to their fur and we wouldn't want a repeat of the Aussie incident which I'm pretty sure all of you can still recall… considering the fact that it happened two weeks ago.

Four: Dad, please and I'm mentally begging here –

Oh god, when have I become this pathetic? I'm not the kind of person who just scurries away from her problems. I'm not some kind of coward. Then again, I'm only human; therefore, I have every right to fall asunder, to surrender and to accept the bitter tangs of defeat.

Resisting the urge to slap myself with a thesaurus, I sigh and reread the letter until it suddenly gets snatched from my hands.

"You're running away?" An amused voice drawls with a slight British lilt, disguised laughter coating every syllable. I do nothing but turn towards the familiar voice. Oh it's him. How unsurprising. "You're probably clutching that Blackberry of yours, ready to give Carter a call. Don't bother because he wouldn't care at all," he quotes with an eyebrow raised in incredulity. "I'm hurt by what you wrote, Kaye; I care about you infinitely."

Grabbing the sheet of paper from him, I say, "This doesn't concern you, Tanner. It's none of your business."

"Last name basis, again?" Carter muses as he runs a hand through his blonde tresses. Then, dropping his hand, his green eyes turn serious, "Don't do this to your self, Kaye, seriously."

Ignoring the fact that he said my name twice in less than two minutes, I manage to let out a confused "Do what?"

"Pushing yourself too hard, you need to relax."

"Thank you for the opinion I never asked for," I say, along with a nasty glare in his direction. I know Carter means well, but I'd appreciate it if he'd stop treating me like a six year old; I'm seventeen for crap's sake. Besides, this entire thing isn't helping my situation. Nope, it really isn't.

The bell rings, shaking me out of my thoughts that seem to revolve around one particular person.

Impatiently blowing strands of auburn hair from my face, I quietly gather my things while making sure that a certain leather-bound notebook is tucked safely in my vintage messenger bag. Suddenly, I hear a strange rumpling sound as I insert my textbooks inside; being the organized person I'd like to believe I am, I pull out the sheet of paper that's clearly not supposed to be there.

After unfolding it, a rather crude drawing by my four year old brother, Sam, stares back at me.

I smile at the sight of four stick people: the tallest one, which has a bright red tie; the smallest one, which has some kind of toy to play with—an airplane probably; and the other two with ribbons in their hair, which have purple skirts. Above them sits a female angel on a cloud with a big grin on her face. It's obviously a portrait of my dad, my sister, my brother and me, and the angel is my mom, watching us from heaven.

Pensively, I bite my lip. How could I even think about running away? The mere thought of it is stupid, childish and pointless. My family needs me now more than ever. Now that mom isn't here. Now that dad is always busy trying to support all of us. I can't possibly give up now.

With this in mind, I crumple the unfinished letter in a small yet misshapen paper ball and shove it deep in my pocket. I decide to throw it later.


Caught by surprise, my head snaps upward only to meet the same amused face gazing down upon me. I could barely contain a sigh of relief.

"Don't scare me like that!" I huff as my eyes dart around our surroundings. We're the only people left in the room. I'm alone with Carter Tanner. He probably saw me smiling like an imbecile over a piece of paper… and yet another embarrassing moment to add to my constantly growing collection. "What are you still doing here? Everyone left." Well, never mind that I'm still here as well.

He gives me a small frown before answering, "I was thinking about your letter."

I resist the urge to retort 'Thinking? That's new for you, isn't it?' Instead I ask, "What about it?"

"Knowing you and your impulsive antics, you'd actually go through with it," his frown deepens, a crease forming on his forehead. "And I wouldn't want to suddenly stop seeing you every day. After all, without you here, I have no one to laugh with and to laugh at." I roll my eyes at his statement. "What I'm trying to say is: don't run away, all right? No matter what, don't."

"Again with opinions I never asked for," I say in a dry tone, but my lips curve into what I hope is a decent smile, "but thanks. I'm not planning to. Now if you excuse me, I have to pick up my brother from school. God knows that he'll steal my Lucky Charms if I'm a second late."

He smiles back. "I'll come with you."

"Oh no, you don't!" I panic, not wanting to trouble him or anything. I can so do this alone, thank you very much. "I mean, you don't have to. I mean, yeah. You don't have to."

Carter shoots me a look accompanied by an easy grin, "But I want to."

"It'll probably consume a lot of your time, you know," I nod sagely albeit frantically with a couple of flinging arm movements here and there. "And you'll probably get home late."

"We're neighbors," he replies blandly; as if he has said those two words more than once a day which isn't unlikely, considering how adamant I am when it comes to him doing me favors. Wait, that sounded strangely sexual… but it isn't like that, I promise.

Knowing I can't change his mind, I mumble dejectedly, "Okay then. I take it we're riding your car?"


I may not know a lot about cars, or any other vehicles of transportation for that matter, but let me tell you one thing: I am in love with Carter's car seats.

"This is divine," I sigh in appreciation, sinking lower into the passenger seat and allowing the comfortable material to swallow me whole. Not in the literal sense, of course.

The blonde boy chuckles melodiously as he drives towards the direction of Sam's preschool. "Watch it, you're starting to purr."

"If I could marry you for your car, I would," I tell him with a straight face before stretching my lips into a bright teasing smirk.

"Are you offering? Because I just might take you up on that," he jokes as he sends a suggestive wink in my direction.

Oh please, Carter, I know you practice that cool wink of yours in front of your mirror. You forget how we've known each other since we were three years old, buddy.

"Throw in that beautiful tree house of yours, and you might just have a deal," I flutter my eyelashes with much exaggeration. I can only hope that I don't look like an epileptic.

"Deal, it's all yours."

"Yuck!" I drop the act and crinkle my nose at the thought. "You're practically the brother I never wished for but ended up getting or something."

Pausing for a moment before erupting into fits of laughter, he shakes his head at the disdain in my voice while I could only help but wish that those words were true. Then again, we can't always get what we want, can we? But I digress.

His car slows down to a halt, and I immediately barrel out of the car.

Ms. Bloom's Preschool stands boldly in front of me with its red brick walls, gray doors and well-trimmed front lawn. Without hesitation, I push the double doors. The second I enter the building, animated chatters, vociferous squeals and pitchy screams pierce my ears, and the sight of little kids running around like dogs chasing a tennis ball greets me.

Welcome to Sparta for ages three to five.

"Sam?" I call out over the noise, desperately searching for a familiar, lanky figure with the same brown hair and brown eyes I have. "Samuel Joseph Fisher, where are you?"

Suddenly, a body flies in my direction and tackles me with an incredible force that isn't expected from a four year old. Gasping, I look down only to see an innocent face with a mock pout.

"I told you not to call me that," my brother whines. His dark mop of locks is tousled and his clothes are in a state of disarray.

Dear lord, what I'd do to be a kid again. What I'd give to have my childhood back where my biggest problem was to choose between hotdogs, Lucky Charms and bacon for breakfast. Now I'm the one who cooks the meals for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And dessert. Whenever I'm in a pleasant mood, that is. But again, I digress.

Huffing indignantly and crossing my arms, I reply, "I'm older than you so I get to call you whatever I like, Samuel."

Leisurely, a mischievous grin materializes on his face and I start wishing that I never said those words. "You're going to regret that, Katelyn."

Um, what?

"Sam? Sammy? I was kidding! I swear I was," I say helplessly, knowing that there are two sides of Sam: the angelic Sam and the spawn of Satan Sam. I'm hoping to avoid the latter as much as possible.

He lifts his chin up haughtily as if to say 'Oh well, too late. Behold my evil laughter.' before sprinting away from me and into the finely muscled arms of... Carter? But –

"I thought you'd stay in the car!"

Ignoring my accusation, he deftly lifts up my little brother in his arms and starts making his way back to his car, all the while having a meaningful conversation with said sibling about ice cream. Not wanting to stick around for the tumbleweeds to show up, I quicken my pace to keep up with them as I mutter distractedly to myself.

Once we reach the car which seats I am irrevocably in love with, my male companion helps Sam into the backseat while I take my place in the passenger seat. Without another word, the car engine murmurs almost quietly into life and we speed off, on our way to our middle class neighborhood. A comfortable silence hangs over our heads.

"You know what?" I say. My light tone immediately shatters the short-lived solitude. Carter opens his mouth to respond but I interrupt, "I never got the chance to thank you." I feel a sincere smile drawing itself on my face. "So thank you, Carter."

Slowly, he shuts his mouth and smiles back, his emerald-like eyes twinkling in the late noon's sunlight. "Anytime, and I mean it."

Well, I'd be damned if those aren't the most captivating eyes I've ever seen.


"Carter," Sam pipes up in an adorable questioning way, "Do you think we can get that ice cream you promised?"


And with a flawless U-turn, we drive off into the sunset, heading towards East Maine's renowned Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium as Sam babbles about wanting a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough—a very elaborately named flavor but a mouthwatering one at that.

Let me tell you something. One of life's most difficult decisions is choosing between a Mocha Chip and an Irish Mudslide. Well, aside from whether I should move on from the guy in the driver's seat or not, of course.

Author's Note:

And so, I mark my sudden return to FictionPress with a new story. Don't worry, this one's already finished. (I've been working on this since the March of 2012, you see.) I just have to upload each chapter. There are fourteen in total, I think. But I digress.

Just so you know, The Fear Of was originally meant to be a short story. However, once it surpassed my aim of 10,000 words, that ship sailed. With that said, since this was supposed to be short and read in one setting, the transition between scenes may be choppy here and there. My apologies in advance. Also, let me know what you think!

(Naturally, the more reviews, the faster the updates.) (I kid, I kid.) (But hey, they wouldn't hurt.) (Okay, bye.)

Copyright Eiya Weathes (Author ID: 697805). All Rights Reserved.