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I walk outside; it is cold out. It doesn’t bother; I like the cold. The moon is no longer visible, clouds cover it. Lights above the garage come on and the driveway is lit up. The path I am walking isn’t far. My green fashionable sweater doesn’t keep me warm. It didn’t really have to. I was already warm enough in the cold.
I reach my destination; passenger seat door. The door swings open easily. I make sure not to hit the bush near the car. Also, I make sure that I open it slowly. Mom always complained that I was harsh to the doors. Tonight, I was extra careful, even if I didn’t know it at the time. My body slides gracefully into the car. I get comfortable in my seat. Then I set my Nook down on the dashboard. I’ll be reading during the ride.
My Nook is on the dashboard. Safe while the car is not in motion. I gently close the door. Next task is to buckle my seat. The seat and buckle were always comfortable, so I did the routine pulling of the metal. As I did so, something felt. . . off. I look at my right arm.
A bee is on my underarm.
It is a carpenter bee, but I don’t remember this fact. I remember that it looked at me with it’s black head. It’s wings weren’t beating. The body was not moving. It’s legs felt like they were glued to my sweater.
My mind flashes back for less than a moment. Two events. First was when I was barely 12. I was stung on the ear by a big black flying insect. Second was in September 2012. I was stung on the hand by a small bee. Now, it was my third encounter with a flying insect.
My screams radiated from the pit of my stomach. My music teacher taught me how to breathe deep to get a better, louder, clearer sound with my voice. Now, I was inadvertently using the technique to make my screams louder. I feel like I am a banshee screaming.
My first instinct is to get the vile creature off of me. I try to throw off my sweater with my left hand, but only succeed in getting it off of my left arm. I quickly throw open my door with my right hand, making the windshield go down a little accidently. At the same time, my left hand tries to get the vile creature off. Victory is partially mine when I managed to get the thing onto my leg. I feel the devil more easily now. I don’t need to see him to know he is there.
I start screaming in loops. I do not hold one scream for long, but each was as loud as the first. The breathing is the same, creating a deep, loud sound that I am sure can be heard throughout the neighborhood. Once I am standing on my two feet, I can not see much besides him and my leg. My hands have instinctively gone up to my ears by now. My hearing is partially muted, by my screams are still crystal clear.
Through my peripheral vision, I see my mom come around the side of the car. She starts to try and swat it away. Her hand is missing, it is not flying away and I am screaming louder. I can not move any part of my body. Petrified by the bee, all I can do is cover my ears, scream, and what for my mom to get the thing off.
After the third hit, the thing is off. I can not move and I am still screaming. Although, my screams are quieter. Just one or two screams after the thing is off, I am no longer making noise. The thing is on the black driveway encompassed by the black shadows of the night. I still can’t move. I know that it is as good as dead, but it still grasps me.
My mom starts walking me inside. She gently closes my door as we pass it. My hands have not come down from their perches near my ears. Then I notice that I am hurting near my right elbow.
We go inside to the bathroom. We have discovered that the bee has bit me. I think that I was stung, but my mom says it is a bite. She cleans it up. I can feel the tears start to build behind my ears. Another traumatic event with the flying devils.
We still have to go somewhere. My mom offers me a jacket from the closet, but I instead choose a blue plaid one. It goes better with my outfit. After I put it on, I press my right arm to my body. I try to quell the pain, and it seems to work. Outside, I can not go past the garage door. I am too afraid. My mom has to back the car down almost the entire driveway before I am physically able to get in.
During our drive, I am recounting how many times I have been scared of flying insects. The first time in 2010, the second actually occurred in Niagara Falls. I was in the butterfly sanctuary, surrounded by thousands upon thousands of butterflies. Big insects that are swooping down from the skies near my hand. They are trying to touch me. I break down in tears halfway through the place. Third occurrence was in September 2012 when I was stung by the bee.
Back in reality, I the tears are starting to build again, but I don’t let them fall.
As we drive to three destinations, I remain inside the car. I cannot get out, too afraid they’ll find me again. I don’t want a fourth bee or fifth insect attack. I instead stay in the car and just think about the bee that terrified me. The scar is just another to add to the physical and mental collection. When the next will be added, I don’t know. I can just pray that I don’t get too many more scars.
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