Dedicated to Maria Katrina
Words: Positive, Create, Love, Peace, Embrace
You place your hand on the door handle of the refrigerator in your best friend’s house like you usually do. However, she storms in and stops you.
“Chris, don’t open the door. Just trust me!” She says and you quickly take your hand away.
Curious to this sudden change, you are about to ask questions but she stops you.
“Don’t look at me like that. Just go into the living room, and I’ll make you something.”
Lifting an eyebrow in surprise, you then follow her direction and sit down on the couch. Something weird has been going on with your friend lately and this new turn of events just confirms it.
A few minutes later, she comes out with a snack tray of cheese and crackers. Inwardly shrugging this off, you take a cracker and piece of cheese from the proffered tray as she sets it on the coffee table and sits next to you on the couch.
You turn on the Roku tv and pick a movie from her amazon prime account. It was one of the ones you don’t have to pay for and you both agree to watch it. It’s supposed to be a relaxed evening even though you both could be going out to the clubs and partying. Still, you were never one for all the sights and sounds that attack you at once and can become overwhelming.
An hour into the movie, you get up from the couch. Your friend looks at you.
“Bathroom,” you reply still thinking this is rather strange behavior from your friend.
You walk to the bathroom which is past the refrigerator and down a hallway. Curiosity gets the best of you and you stop at the refrigerator door. ‘What’s she so worked up about?’ You ask yourself. Thinking better of it, you move forward and do what you must do in the bathroom.
Once you are done, something is pinging in your gut and not giving you any peace. Your self-inflicted anxiety is only making it worse and you need to know what it is in that refrigerator. Past traumas begin to wrack your brain and you try to stop the flashbacks. Something terrible could be in that refrigerator and you will have to report it if it is even if it means ending up in a place you don’t want to go to again. It could be terrible. You go through various scenarios in your head but you stop yourself after reality testing yourself. Should you check the refrigerator to be on the safe side? But you love your friend and want to respect her privacy but that nagging feeling is not letting up.
Sighing and knowing you are about to break your best friend’s trust you head towards the refrigerator. Your hand embraces the refrigerator door handle and you gulp, knowing this is it. Slowly, you pull open the door and inside the refrigerator there is a huge birthday cake with your name on it. Your eyes widen as you can never be forgiven for this intrusion of privacy and now you have to act surprised. You shut the door quickly but quietly and kick yourself for the fear your paranoia just had to create inside you. Mentally chastising yourself for being such a horrible friend and not willing to trust, you go over all your mental faculties of how horrible a person you are. Then you quiet your mind as best as you can and put on a fake smile as you reenter the living room and sit down to continue watching the movie which your friend kindly paused while you were away. You both finish watching your movie and when it is over your friend gets up.
“Come on,” she says. “I have a surprise for you! I know you don’t like surprises but I want to give you a more positive experience with this.”
Resisting the urge to gulp and standing up, you follow your friend into the kitchen. She has you sit down at the kitchen table. You fiddle your fingers under the table and look around distractedly pretending to wonder what she will bring out.
“Close your eyes,” Your friend tells you and you do so.
You hear a thud on the table and can’t resist a little jump but you do your best to keep your eyes closed. After two more thuds, and when you think it is safe you open your eyes.
“Happy early birthday!” Your friend tells you and you smile.
On the table is the cake with your name on it and two bottles of your favorite wine. You get up and embrace your friend while crying tears of joy. No one needs to know that you spoiled your own birthday surprise. Your friend is so happy to celebrate with you and you are happy for the most amazing birthday experience you have had in quite a while.