Facing My Fears

My good friends bought an awesome A-frame cabin in Great Capacon, West Virginia a year ago. I’m in love with their cabin and all the rustic furnishings, especially the amazing stone fireplace that reaches the ceiling. They have three beautiful acres that surround the cabin and plenty of places for their Golden Retriever to find adventures. It’s a magical place where I can see myself finishing my second novel. I’m very fortunate that my gracious friends have invited me to write there during the week and it’s only an hour from my house. And, they have Wifi!

On the second morning of my visit, my friend B asked me if I was ready for a mini road trip. I’m always ready for a road trip! I grabbed my camera and off we drove up and down hills and along the Great Capacon River. The snow on the ground was finally melting and I could see spots of ice on the river. It was a beautiful day in West Virginia. Soon, we were driving up a steep hill and then, we stopped. From where we were parked, I couldn’t see anything but trees, so we got out and B walked aka kinda slid down a small embankment to what looked like the edge of the known world. I caught a glimpse of a river, but I turned away as quickly as I could.

This little story is about how we are able to freak ourselves out and how ridiculous our thoughts can be when we are faced with our greatest fear. My friend had no idea that I am deathly afraid of heights, so I don’t blame him one bit! I was thrilled to see this little piece of Heaven that B loves and it was a beautiful sight to behold.

So, B went to the edge, looked over and came back. “It’s awesome, El! Wait until you get down there!” The incline was pretty steep to the edge and my boots kept skidding. I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared, but when he held out his hand, I took it, mostly to steady myself. I immediately felt light-headed and not sure on my feet as we inched forward. I sure as hell didn’t go out to the edge where he’d stood. I told him that I had gone as far as I could. I sat on a rock because I was getting dizzy.

I suddenly realized that this was a perfect place to kill someone. Like in the movies. Had I pissed B off in any way in our many years of friendship? Was killing me the reason he hadn’t asked Angie to join us? He could bring me to the edge and lightly push my back and over I would go into the wild blue yonder. No! This was ridiculous. Stop it, I told myself. I love this man, my friend!

I was fascinated at my body’s reaction to the height, the imminent danger and our potential deaths. My body shook, my stomach felt really weird and I finally knew what it must have felt like for Thelma and Louise before driving off the cliff! I couldn’t control my hands and flipping stomach. A small landslide could surely knock us into the abyss and forget about a shale avalanche, sheesh. I forced myself to think pretty thoughts.

I kept fighting with my imagination of losing my balance and falling to my death onto the craggy rocks below and then, Bob went closer to the edge filled with shale chips. I couldn’t even look at the river and small waterfall because I thought B was going to die any second. What would I tell Angie?! Uhmmm, A…your husband is dead. I’m so sorry to tell you that B is dead. She would ask me if I’d helped him and I would have to tell her the truth or lie.

I managed to take a photo of B looking toward their cabin (which we couldn’t see) and I wondered if this would be the last known photograph taken of him before he became one with the Great Capacon River. Then, I had a horrible thought. What did the cliff look like from underneath? What was holding up this inclined cliff? More shale?

I couldn’t stand it. I asked him to pretty please come back a foot and from the look on my face, he realized that I was petrified. He laughed and came to where I was sitting. “You that scared, El?”

“You bet your sweet ass as I am!” I had to laugh and before I knew it, I was looking to my left and this photo is what I saw. It was breathtaking in every sense of the word. A miracle of nature. I took more than 25 photos and even managed to slowly stand up for the last few and then, I was done!

Before coming out to visit my friends, I’d told them that I wanted to shoot some guns. I wanted to cross that off my bucket list. We shot rifles, a 45 and a huge handgun. My hands shook with every pull of the trigger and my shoulder was sore, but that was an exhilarating fear, not like my fear of heights. Ellie will remain on safe ground where she intends to stay. Yep.

Remind me to tell you about the one car wooden “bridge” we had to cross to get back home. No railings and the rising river was no more than a foot below. Yeah. A vacation house for sure IF you can get there and remain safe inside the cabin with no avalanches, floods or mudslides.

Note: I am presently looking for a cabin in that area. I honestly love it out there 🙂 I had a lovely weekend, thank you, B&A! You are the mostest of the mostest.



Published by

Eleanor Parker Sapia

Puerto Rican-born, Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the award-winning, historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, published by Sixth Street River Press. The book is a Finalist in the 2016 International Latino Book Award with Latino Literacy Now, and was Book of the Month with Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club. She is featured in the award-winning anthology, Latino Authors and Their Muses, edited by Mayra Calvani. Eleanor is currently working on her second book, The Laments, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. Eleanor is a writer, artist, photographer, and blogger, who is never without a pen, notebook, and her camera. Her wonderful adult children are doing wonderful things in the world, which allows Eleanor the blessing of writing full time. http://amzn.to/1X0qFvK Please visit Eleanor at her website: http://www.eleanorparkersapia.com