Open Doors   Leave a comment

Florence gently pushed the heavy oak door until it snugly fitted the door frame. She breathed a sigh of relief, and her thumping heart began to abate. She felt safe at last.

What was it about open doors? Why did she feel so unsafe when they were open? Was it something from early childhood?

Florence sat on the bed wondering about her fear. Des called it a phobia. Maybe he was right.

If only I could find out the cause, maybe I’ll understand and be able to get over my fear. Taking a deep breath she walked to the door and firmly pressed down the handle, opened the door and went downstairs.

“Closing doors again?” Des asked raising one eyebrow. Florence didn’t answer him. You left the door open…she accused him silently.

Sitting down at the table with a cup of tea, she turned on the computer. She put Fear of Open doors into the search engine. There were many theories including agoraphobia, trauma, claustrophobia and entamaphobia. Florence had never heard of entamaphobia before. Apparently the word Entamaphobia was derived from the combination of the Greek words Eisodos and Portos meaning entrance way, and the Greek word Phobos meaning fear. Closing the computer down she gulped her tea and went to get some cereal.

After breakfast Florence went out for a walk to think, leaving Des to cut the grass.

Well I definitely haven’t got agoraphobia, maybe a bit of claustrophobia in crowds; I can look at doors, just not open doors without the urge to close them. Maybe it was some trauma, but what?

Just as she was thinking this she passed her near neighbour’s George’s house. His front door was ajar. Florence tried to ignore it, and failed.  She stood transfixed staring at the door. The open door made her

uneasy, but a nagging fear about George grew in her head. George was elderly and lived on his own.

“George! George!” she called. Nothing. “Damn!” Florence said under her breath. Forcing herself towards the door, she tried to concentrate on George and not her own fears. Standing at the doorway, Florence called again in the loudest voice she could muster. Suddenly a figure in black pushed past her knocking her to the ground.

“Florrie,” called George, in a weak voice.

Florence felt anger surge through her body as she ran after the fleeing intruder, and jumped on their back, and wrestled them to the ground. Pulling the Beanie hat of the back of the person’s head, Florence gasped when she saw the face of the shocked man.

“Dad…?”

She barely recognized her father from the photos she had seen of him when she was growing up.

“Little Florrie?” the man asked, staring at her.

Then it all came flooding back. Aged about three she had been woken one night by the sound of breaking glass and then shouting voices. Her mother had screamed…

“Stop it Ernie, I haven’t got any money!”

“I’ll take Florrie then,” Ernie had shouted back.

Florence had known that her Daddy was called Ernie and that he was meant to be in prison for being naughty. She had hidden under the bed and had watched her bedroom door open with a forceful blast.

“Florrie where are you? Come to Daddy,” Ernie had roared. Just as he had bent down to look under the bed, Mummy had hit him with something hard and he had gone to sleep.

Florence remembered the blood dripping onto the wooden floor, Mummy crying, and hearing Mrs Brown next door phoning for an ambulance and the police.

Somehow Florence had locked it all away in her sub-conscious and forgotten about it. Her dad had been taken to hospital where he was arrested when he came round. She had convinced herself that she had no memories of her father until this day.

“What did you take from George?” she hissed.

“That’s a nice welcome for your dear old dad. That stupid old geezer wouldn’t give me the price of a meal, so I had to help myself.”

Florence was incensed, but worried about George.

“You give me what you took, and I won’t call the police, but don’t you ever show yourself around here again.”

Ernie gestured towards a pocket in his trousers. Still holding onto him, Florence pulled out a wad of notes.

“Now get lost!” she said releasing him. Once he was gone, she went into George.

George was sitting in his chair shivering. Florence handed him the money, and told him that the man had run away and had dropped the money in his flight.

Florence never told anyone the truth about Ernie, but Des did mention a few weeks later that she wasn’t always closing open doors anymore.

“I’ve an open door policy now,” she joked and left Des wondering.

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Posted September 22, 2016 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

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