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Creative writing prompt: Vehophobia

“Veemo-what?” her sister said, as she finally lifted her eyes from her phone.

Vehophobia,” Emma said, fidgeting her napkin, careful to notice if anyone around her table had lifted their heads in disgust or started laughing. “It’s why I’ve been going to Dr. Flowers. Well, for, you know, and this.” Careful glace at movement to her left, no just someone shifting in their chair. “There’s actually a word for this, right, why I’ve been unable to… well, why I just ride my bike now.”

“Oh my gosh, you’re like, legit certifiable,” Kelsey lilted, returning to her phone.

Emma slouched even further. She had basically folded her body in half in the booth. Had someone looked over to the sisters they would think Kelsey was related to a toddler in twenty-somethings clothing. So much for relating and vulnerability.

“Yeah, ohmygod you’re totally right,” Kelsey burst and she showed her phone to Emma.

Emma unfolded and timidly looked at the bejeweled phone. There it was, the same talk-space page she had frequented and memorized. “It wasn’t on WebMD so I thought you were 100% making it up, but here it totally is.” Kelsey scrolled, proud to show her sister that indeed, the information Emma had offered via an expert, was in fact verifiable based on her 15 second search. She’d make a great CEO one day.

“Thanks,” Emma offered, happy to start the dialogue she’d practiced in her head and with Dr. Flowers countless times. Emma took a slow breath to start.

“Well, at least there’s a name for it, you know? Cool you’re working that out. Omg did you see how many followers I’ve gained since the-- since March? Like, I’m starting to get legit patreons.” Kelsey fit all that in, impressively, before Emma could finish her inhale.

That’s a start, thought Emma. Dr. Flowers would be proud that she finally broached the subject with her sister. Granted it didn’t go far, but Emma was able to finally bring up the accident. And for what it was worth, Emma knew her older sister better than anyone. There was a fleeting shadow of sadness in the chipper reply. A long road ahead, but Emma knew she’d succeeded in the first step.

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