I sigh deeply. Fear has remained incoherent in her corner on the couch. Sadness eventually ran out of tears and now leans against me, a pile of used tissues surrounding her like fallen leaves. Disgust hovers close by waiting for her opportunity to snatch up the refuse. She's been compulsively cleaning since Myths disappeared. I've money on the rearrangement of the furniture any time now.
My internal gambling is the only joy I've been able to muster. Since Myths unveiled Fear's deepest trepidation, I've felt numb and listless. Joy eventually needed a reprieve from our somber disposition and retreated to her fields of sunflowers, or wherever we goes when we're too much for her.
I break away from my thoughts to find Disgust waving a feather duster in Anger's face. I perk up. This ought to be entertaining.
"I am doing something!" Disgust screeches, flourishing the duster like a sword. She squeaks as Anger grabs it out of her hands and snaps it into two pieces.
"You need to get a grip," Anger says, stalking over to where Fear slouches amongst pillows and blankets. "We need to help her. Brainstorm solutions, toss her into a cold shower... something besides this congregation of melancholic couch potatoes!"
I frown, leaning deeper into the couch cushions. "That won't help. Nothing will help."
Anger pins me with a narrowed gaze until I am squirming in my seat. "You," she growls. She takes two steps and is suddenly an inch from my face. "Snap. Out. Of. It." She moves away from me and looks at each of us, Sadness now awake from the confrontation, groggily wiping sleep from her eyes. "All of you need to snap the bloody hell out of this 'woe is me' attitude. You are all acting like her illusion is true. Why?"
"Because it could be," I mumble, looking into my lap.
Anger pauses, turning back to me. I glance up, hoping for an empathetic expression, but she's not Joy. "So? You might die tomorrow, but that doesn't keep you from making up dreams and taking care of business today. Why let a possibility and an extreme possibility at that, stop all gears?" She pauses. "You know what I think?"
"No, but I'm sure you're about to tell us," huffs Disgust, throwing herself into Anger's vacated chair.
Anger ignores her quip. "I think you're all being selfish."
"Now wait a minute," I start, pushing up from the couch to my feet.
"Denial," she tosses at me before continuing. "We all agreed we're in this together when Sadness faced her fears of abandonment and rejection, but Fear goes deep into a psychological delusion of her failure and you all just lie down, wringing your hands? And for what? It's not helping, that's what. If anything, it's hurting us. Joy has even left. Joy! We're depressing her." Anger shakes her head. "Never thought I'd see the day optimism would retreat in the face of a pessimistic attitude. You sicken me."
"You talk a big talk, Anger, but I haven't heard you say a peep since Myths left. You've been sitting here with the rest of us, quiet. Well, you know what I think?" I say, coming level with her. "All your self righteousn accusations sure as hell won't bring Fear back either!"
"Back off, little birdy," she says in a low voice, fists tighening, "or I might break one of those delicate wings of yours."
I poke her in the chest. "Try me."
"Stop," croaks a small, timid voice from the couch. Anger and I twist, about to rip Sadness to threads, but stop. Fear has spoken. She's back!
Join us tomorrow.