“I really would like to know the moment that life starts forcing itself upon you, when the scary things out there are never as scary as the things inside of you.”
Callie says this in Above. Surprise, surprise it’s a thought I’ve been wondering about too. I think it’s so interesting that when we’re younger the scariest things are having your birthday party canceled, or getting up to present in class, or having to make your way through the dark hallway to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The latter was a terrifying journey for me. Funnily enough, I remember that well…I remember how afraid I was to walk the ten feet in the looming darkness without my mother to promise me that there were indeed no serial killers. A mother’s promise is nice…it changes, as you get older, it doesn’t fix things or even place a metaphorical Band-Aid anymore. Instead it’s there as a presence and a reminder that you’re loved.
I kinda think that’s all that matters. Because once life starts forcing itself upon you, just knowing someone cares is enough to kill some of the scary things inside of you. It doesn’t make them go away, if only it made everything better, but still it’s something.
One of my main goals with Callie was to make her honest and imperfect. I guess I feel that way a lot of the time and it seems unfair to do differently, to present a person to the world that isn’t actually a person. I read a lot…I’m a nerd…like my brother would say, so I think I can fairly say that it’s not comforting to always read an idea or a fairytale. I want it to be truthful and real and yet, still be an escape, a different life for an hour of my day. Clearly, I like to live in someone else’s life because I act too, but that’s not the only reason I read. I read to not feel alone. I read because maybe there’s a character out there that is just as baffled by the world and life as I am. Maybe there’s someone that’s lost and finding their way. I wanted Callie to be that. Strong and stubborn and unsure and imperfect, but perfect because she was. I wanted Callie to be a real person. And now four years later…she is. At least to me. Always to me.