"Acrophobia, that's the fear of heights if you hadn't guessed," I say. "It's the reason she was so terrified, trapped at the top of that fence. I'm sure, though, at a stretch everyone could empathize with her fear, because everyone has a phobia. You might say otherwise, but then I'd venture to say you have a fear of acknowledging fear.
"Fear and panic strike me when the sky goes dark. I tremble and shake as the wind picks up, but my waverings are from fear, not the force of the wind itself. On the contrary, wind in any other circumstance is fine, even enjoyable, but when the sky is overcast the wind is a portent.
"When this happens, I find myself running for shelter, making attempts to hide myself from the impending weather.
"Once my sanctuary is realized, I screw my eyes shut and bury fingers in my ears. In that moment I become impenetrable, able only to sense that which touches me, as well as the dull vibrations from the cacophony outside.
"Even cymbals set me off, quicken my pulse and turn the adrenaline on. Deep drummings and other loud noises sometimes do the same. That's why I had to quit band: my poor clarinet would give a mighty squeak whenever the percussionists played, and many a reed, and tune, was ruined.
"The same thing sometimes happened while playing sports, especially in the gym. A ball rebounding from the floor too hard or hit with a resounding smack makes me shiver, and I'm sure the same thing might have happened had we been able to play pall in that court the day my friend displayed her fear of heights.
"Most people assume I also have a fear of flashes, but I really don't. Bright flares haven't yet reduced my to a quivering wreck.That's because I have ceraunophobia. It's the fear that allows me to feel what my friend felt, even to the point that I laugh about its instances in the past, just like her.
"In that moment, though, the terror is just unbelievable," I finish. It's like I've just gone off on one of those monologues my lit teachers are so hyped up about.
"You know what I'm talking about, right?" I ask. "You do have a fear of your own, after all."
"Well yah," he replies, somewhat embarassed. "Y'see, I've got this phobia..."