NOTE: I was originally just going to leave this as one short story about my shopping trauma, but this spider trauma is just as bad, if not worse. This actually happened.
So I have extreme arachnophobia.
Eight hours earlier, I had ventured out with my parents and sister, not realising the immensity of my journey until it was way too late. We were going to drive all the way to Nottingham and back – fine.
Except, it wasn’t fine.
I wear contacts because I am essentially blind without the help of lenses. First of all, you’re not supposed to wear them for more than ten hours. I think.
Miles and miles away from home, I realised that I had forgotten my contact lenses’ case. For those of you who aren’t aware of this, you can’t sleep with contacts in your eyes. I don’t know how, but it had slipped my mind that we weren’t going to be back home until around 1am on a school night. To make things worse, you can’t just take them out and leave them anywhere. You have to put them in a special solution, which was conveniently in my lenses case, at home.
But, somehow, someway, I made it to Nottingham without falling asleep. I put my contact lenses in a bowl and filled it with my sister’s solution, as she too has bat-like vision. It wasn’t five minutes into the car ride when the liquid began to spill out of the bowl and onto the car floor. But I didn’t care at the time, all I wanted was sleep and I got it. Four hours of ‘rest’, or awkward positioning, accompanied by several tumbles off of the backseat at every speed bump or traffic light, we arrived home. Naturally, the first place I was headed was to my bed. I could hardly walk, so I steadied myself with the railing and the wall. Three steps up and I felt something move against my finger.
I near vomited at the sight of it. The scream that left my throat, the tears that rushed to my eyes, the chills that ran through my body... I felt I was in my very own horror film. The monster and I were complete opposites; I sprinted back down the stairs while it halted against the wall.
I hate everything about spiders. I hate how they have to be different and have eight legs. I hate that they only move when you're not watching. I generally hate their existence and anything to do with them. It hurt even more that I had to go up to close to examine what I'd just touched, because of my awful vision. I moved my head away so fast that it slammed backwards against the railing.
Rubbing the back of my head, I yelled at my Dad,
The caring, loving man he is, he laughed,
“Get your life together. Look at you. Look at how small it is.”
In my mind, it was either me or the insect. I had come to the conclusion that one of us was going to die that night. It was most likely going to be me, with the way my dad was speaking, either from extreme fright or sleep deprivation. But just as I had finished signing my will, I noticed that he was getting up and coming over. He was only halfway over, but I had sussed his plan. I practically flew upstairs and screamed from the top as I watched him take a piece of paper and let the spider crawl on.
Thank God. The nightmare was over.
Or was it? What was this?
My dad began to ascend the stairs, with the spider on his piece of paper. No sound came to my mouth. My legs had never moved so quickly before! I was locking myself in the bathroom and barricading the door with a towel, in the space of just a few seconds. My phone fell on the floor in my haste, forcing the battery to spill out onto the bathroom tile. So I had no way of calling 999. My iPod was dead, so there’d be no entertainment. Tears rushed to my eyes again at the prospect of spending the night in the bathroom all because of this merciless beast (the spider, not my Dad). Every single bit of moisture had left my throat as I lay on the cold, tile floor and gradually, my breathing slowed.