Chapter Four Antropophobia

I am Stefanie and soon I will become a valedictorian at my university. They said I have the guts but my problem was my weakness. Anthropophobia is a fear of rejection created by people. I got this during kindergarten where I faced my childhood classmates and my teacher with a sudden nervousness and shock. I was about to explain my family tree when three of my classmates mocked my sketch and compared it to the faces of monkeys. They laughed so hard until I can’t take what they have said and I tore my sketch with a loud cry. My teacher defends me but the pupils keep on mocking and bullied me until I reached high school.

One day, my classmates turned on me and began bullying me. They are mean, making my life miserable; I left my school books and sketch pad in the classroom at break time. When I returned, I found someone torn the pages of my sketchpad and written dirty words all over my books then after that, she smiled wickedly and gave me a dirty hand sign.

Another day, I opened my bag and discovered someone had put salad all over my notebooks, pad paper, and books. There was a time when someone stole my new t-shirt that was given by my mother as a gift present. Every day the bullying got much worse but I used to it.

It was a hard time making friends during my junior high school. It was the middle of the school year and most of the students had no interest in befriending me. I spent many days alone, walking from class to class without speaking to anyone.

It was then when I started to grow up in Senior high school and I’m pretty much sick, I experienced uncontrollable seizures when I reached my limits. The doctor advised me not to pressure myself physically, emotionally, and psychologically or stresses out in a certain situation that can trigger or put me in danger. I used to went to the hospital every time my seizures attacked. But then I learned to have some friends but life is so unfair, people always showed cruelty, they spoke to me brutally and sometimes hurt me physically and they throw me down like a waste.

I was about to give up but my family and my friends supported my dreams. Intelligence and Perseverance became my saving grace to finish college. I belong to a poor family and I worked as a working student and got odd jobs during summer.

I reached 20 when I was about to finish my last semester of class. My condition is way better when I didn’t encounter seizures and now I woke up standing on stage was my professors and thousands of fellow graduating classmates and batchmates waiting for my valedictory address. Being on stage in front of the people became a massacre. I’m awestruck with my situation and I’m afraid to do some stupid things during this moment.

I did her whispers. I tried to make myself believe they weren’t whispering about me.

My hands are sweating and shaking while I’m delivering the speech.

“To all my………. My professors……………….my…….my……..fellow……..graduating classmates, friends….family


            The microphone produces an eerie sound.

            “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh someone shouted and I was shocked. The lights went out.

            “Hello!!!hello!!!” I tested the microphone but there is no vibration with my voice.

Until I felt something wet coming from my nose. 

I hold my nose and I saw blood. I wipe it through my gown.

           I looked around and then all of a sudden I was agape in sudden terror.

My hands and feet were numb from fear being pumped through my veins.

            Right in front of me, we’re several or thousands of snakes hissing and slithering. There are no other people around except me. How can it be possible? I stared at my finger and I saw the snake engrave from the ring. It moves and bites my finger until I screamed out loud.


            I blink and I’m back to where I stood in front of the students and professors. Their eyes darted in my corner waiting for me to speak. It was a terrible night I prayed silently and I want to save myself from this shame.

            “Please stop this miserable situation!” I beg for myself.

            Then I saw someone from the corner smiling and grinning.

            It was him….the shinigami…..and my anger want to explode. I stared at him with a menacing glance but he just stood there. He was daring me.

            From the corner of our eyes, I knew exactly what he was thinking.

            “You can’t kill me with those looks. I dare you to win this battle you crying lady.” Then he disappeared from the crowds.

            I control myself to remain calm and read my speech.

            As I continued with my serious speech this time I heard unrestrained laughter in the audience; chuckling, twittering voices of students and parents too. But my family remained silent. I knew some of them secretly gloating over me to call my valedictory address as a prank. 

I knew my schoolmates grinned and they were up to something but I moved forward and I emphasized everything from my speech.

            “From all those snakes that bit me and stab me from my back I thank you because of all the wounds I got I remained strong and I forgave all the things you have given to me and God gave me the strength to overcome my fear and continue my life to the fullest. Maybe we are of different kinds and breed but we can do good things for ourselves and other people……..

            Anger and frustration explode in my chest. I released the pain inside of me until tears come rushing into my face. 

            “ To all my classmates and batchmates I congratulate you from this night. This is the final chapter of our journey in school. Soon we continue our journey to the other side of the world where we enter the door of different opportunities and……

            Some shout for a surprise from the audience and until every person claps their hands.

            I took a deep breath and I felt a heat in my ears than in my cheeks.

            I never knew it would happen but I experienced loud cheers and standing ovations. The people especially my parents and siblings rejoice with tears in their eyes while students raise their black caps and toss them up shouting and cheering and hugging each other.

            My heart burst into an unexplainable joy that night while I’m stood onstage. I overcame my fear and I won this battle.

            I want to thank my family so I take a walk and took the step in the ladder when I felt dizzy and then felt that I could hardly breathe. Closed off my windpipe and my whole body trembled in an unexplainable static until I had almost blacked out and everything turned into darkness.

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