Daniel had life pretty good. He had a family who were all intact, he was always fed and had all the clothes he needed. He lived in a house that could be considered large. His family loved him and never abused him. His parents were moral and even though they were overprotective, he was thankful for the trouble he’d been kept out of.
The result of his parent’s overprotection had a bad side though. Daniel was inexperienced and nieve to the real world and nothing could now prepare him for what was going to happen.
The Darkness Arises
It all started when Daniel was 16. Every guy he knew, had a girlfriend and every girl he knew, had a boyfriend at least once in their life. Daniel guessed that 99% of everyone in his school had their first boyfriend or girlfriend before 5th grade, and all them have had many since.
“What is wrong with me? I’m too shy to ask anyone out and too ugly to ask anyone out” he thought. “My little brother has had a girlfriend and I haven’t even had my first.”
At nights he would cry himself to sleep wondering why he was so different from everyone else.
Then one day Daniel’s little brother John got asked out. It wasn’t so bad at first. But his brother and his girlfriend got closer and closer. At the same time, Daniel’s best friend Ricky had a girlfriend too. To make it worse, Daniel liked Ricky’s girlfriend, Lynn. And to make it still worse, he was invited to movie nights at Ricky’s house where they would cuddle with their girlfriends. What was Daniel left with? Darkness. This was the start of the dark winter that Daniel later referred to as the Dark Ages.
Everything was bleak and gloomy for Daniel. This could have been regular old depression for anyone else. But Daniel’s imagination began to run away with him. He had to give his emotional pain a name and a face so that he would know what he was facing.
This was actually working! When he began to get depressed by the things around him he would think of himself fighting this thing. He thought of it first as a black man about seven feet tall with arms as big around as tree trunks and pecks like huge slabs of rock. After all the thing had to be tough to make him hurt so bad.
He imagined it as a boxer hitting him in the face every time he felt bad.
Finally Ricky broke up with Lynn and Daniel decided he had enough. The only way he was going to rid himself of this dark gloomy feeling was to gain up enough courage to ask Lynn out.
The Dragon Slayed
It happened to be Lynn’s 17th birthday. He was going to do it. That day he waited for a chance to start up a conversation or do something nice for her. But the day was dark. The cloud cover threatened of snow and wouldn’t let the sun through. The day went by without a chance. The night came and it got cold. Daniel decided to give it a last chance effort. He called Lynn.
“Lynn, this is Daniel.”
“Uh, we need to talk.”
“You see, I was going to ask you out tonight”
“Really? I didn’t even know you liked me!- well? Are you going to?”
“Um – O.K.!”
Daniel could hardly believe it! “You don’t know how happy I am!!” His room seemed to brighten. He told her more about himself and a flood of anticipation came in. Now he had someone to take to the movies, to hug and cuddle and talk to.
After they got off the phone, Daniel played some relaxing music on his stereo. Now he had the power to confront the Dominator. He laid back and began to imagine. The Dominator came toward him fully confident holding a fiery sword. Raising it up, Daniel came in with his new power and struck the Dominator in the jaw with a haymaker. The Dominator fell to the ground, his face now deformed.
Daniel screamed “Yes!” and suddenly realized he was still in his room sitting at his desk.
The next day Daniel saw Lynn at school. When he looked into her eyes he could almost see them sparkle. Her smile showed she was as happy as he was.
That night when they talked on the phone, things seemed brighter all around. It wasn’t something visible but it was his mood or outlook.
Then Lynn mentioned a guy who was a friend of hers. His name was Theo. In the back of Daniel’s head he thought ‘She likes this guy- doesn’t she? -Oh quit thinking about it! I have a girlfriend now and nothing can take away this happiness!”
The next day at school Daniel could hardly stand because he only saw Lynn right before and right after school. Each day he went through this anxiety.\
“Daniel, this is Theo,” Lynn introduced them. “I need to go to his house to use his computer,”
Daniel’s stomach tensed, “OK”
The next night when Daniel went to his Wednesday night youth group, Lynn was not there as usual.
Little did Daniel know that “going to use Theo’s computer” would be an almost daily thing.
Finally the weekend came and he finally had the chance to spend some time with her.
Then he found out she was leaving on a trip for cheerleading.