Stuck in the Closet

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Story Sent in by Charles:

Cassandra, who was a freelance writer, and I met online. We arranged to go out to dinner at a restaurant convenient to both of us.

When I met up with her in front of the place, she said, "I was kind of having second thoughts about dinner."

"Why?" Perhaps she wasn't feeling well.

She went on, "When I was three, my cousin locked me in a closet and wouldn't let me out for two hours. It kind of gave me a fear of people in crowded places."

I tried to make the connection, but I couldn't figure it out. Still, a phobia is a phobia, and I wasn't about to give her a hard time about it. I asked her, "What would you like to do, then?"

She thought for a moment, then said, "Can we just sit down somewhere?"

I found a bench in a little walkway between stores. We sat down, and I was about to ask her a non-related question when she stood up and said, "I'm sorry. Maybe we can take a walk?"

I stood and asked, "Everything okay?"

She replied, "Yeah. I'm sorry. Just sitting here on the bench, it reminded me of the time my cousin locked me in the closet when I was younger."


We walked for a couple of blocks. I asked her to tell me more about her writing. She said, "It's mostly dark. Probably a result of having been locked in the closet when I was younger."

That shut me up until a few moments later, when she stopped walking and said, "I'm sorry. This walk... it's just making me feel trapped. Do you know what I mean?"

"Not really."

"It's like being a three-year-old and being trapped in a closet."

"I see."

"By your cousin. You know?"

"It must have really affected your entire life, that horrible experience."

She nodded gravely. "You have no idea."

"Oh, I have some," I said, "Want to call it a night? Everything that we do seems to remind you of that awful experience."

"Yeah. I'm going to go to bed."

Tongue-in-cheek, I asked her, "Won't that potentially remind you of your time in the closet?"

She said, "Probably, but I can't let it control my life, you know?"

"Of course." And that's how it ended.


  1. ^ did she write under the 'Mrs Pickles ' moniker?

  2. "This walk... it's just making me feel trapped. Do you know what I mean?"

    "Not really."


  3. Strange how being locked in a closet apparently gave her agoraphobia...

  4. Didn't R. Kelly write a song about her?

  5. I would have totally taken her to a closet store.

  6. When I was three, I fell in a pool. It kind of gave me a fear of fire & deserts (those are the exact opposite of water right?).

    To quote Wolfdreams, bad news Charles/OP, sounds like you might be ugly. This is what I refer to as (mildly) crazing one's self out of a date.

  7. Yes, walking around in open space is truly suffocating.

  8. ^ Well with everybody breathing MY air it sure feels like it.

  9. Sometimes Al Gore can be a pretty scary guy.

  10. I feel like I should make a hurtful comment here but my padawan apprentice has apparently already done so for me. Well done my student! Embrace the dark side of the Internet! (8<

  11. I think she'd be a perfect match for the girl who had a gun pointed at her once.


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