Fear of Darkness

I’m five years old in this memory. These days, I’m afraid of darkness. Whenever I’m alone in the dark, a sense of insecurity creeps up on me. What if I see something I don’t want to see? Like a ghost?

Luckily, my home is so tiny that there isn’t much darkness even in the night. All the rooms are connected, so one light source can reach everywhere in the apartment except one room: the tiniest room which my parents use as a storage.

The room is crowded with a few bookshelves and large chests along with other random boxes, so much so that there isn’t much space to walk around. Even during the day, I rarely go in there. In the night, never.

One sliding door connects the room with the backroom. The door is always left open. Every evening, when I watch TV in the living room, which is adjacent to the backroom, I can see the gap where the sliding door is stored between the walls, its dark mouth gaping at me from a few feet away.

Despite my fear, however, I cannot help turning my head every now and then to look at the dark gap between the walls. Somehow, it’s a reminder that I’m now in a bright room, away from darkness. From this safe place, I take a very close look at the gap and wonder to myself what exactly about the darkness that I’m so scared of.