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I remember, before, my mother dragged me out the the shops with her. She often did. I'd been a good boy for a change, and she'd take me to the sweet shop for a couple of candied sticks, or some such. My reward, as it were. We were only there a moment when my mother spied a friend of hers in the shop too. She went over to talk, and left me standing there. It took me a moment, but I realized that I was alone. Me and the metal scoops of candy piled high. A lifetime of dreams, and no one to see me. No one to stop me.

When my mother returned, she found me standing there, shaking, my face red and hands clenched until they nearly bled. Oh, how I'd wanted to just grab and take and stuff my pockets until they overflowed and then fill myself up, stuffing the sweets inside me until I couldn't fit anymore. Only then would I stop.

But I was afraid. Frightened of being discovered, terrified of never being allowed into the sweet shop agian, of not being able to stuff enough inside me to be happy forever. I was afraid.

I'm not afraid anymore.

-Johann