Almost every school kid has admitted to day dreaming about saving their school from a gunman. How they would break out in some new kind of martial art and knock the invader unconscious. How everyone would cheer their name, calling them a hero.
That isn't the truth. In reality, there is no martial arts. No names. No heroes. Only cold, dark, pressing terror. The feeling you won't be leaving alive. In those common day dreams, you never account for the feeling of a cold metal barrel being pressed to your temple. A warning to obey. It's funny how when you're in danger, how quickly your brain processes things, and how slowly you react, In all honesty, I would have loved some crazy martial arts. Martial arts could have stopped a lot of what happened. Many people say fear and bravery are mind over body sort of things, that you can overcome it if you focus hard enough. But you don’t hold as much power as you think.
Fear can drown you, as many people often describe it as being. But other times, fear can distance you, as if you are experiencing everything from a distance. I could feel the gun at my head. I could hear the screams. But it was all so far away, like I was underwater, watching them from below.
The thing with intimate death is that you cannot stop it. You can only accept your fate, and live your last moments in a subdued peace. It’s as if you jumped out of an airplane with no parachute. You are falling to an ultimate death and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can close your eyes, think of what will be left behind, and accept your fate. But that does not make death any less terrifying.
Many religions have an afterlife. Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, whatever you believe. But no one can say for sure who is correct. After all, no one comes back from the dead. I believe it is not death we are terrified of, but the prospect of what comes next. Wondering if we are the correct ones, and if you are not correct, what will happen to you?
It goes without saying that there is lots of terror in those moments. Fear of death, fear of oblivion, fear of everything. Some drown in it. Others escape through it.