Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob

By Lexi Anders

Five Easy Steps to making Electro Pop music:

Taylor had two choices: read this ridiculous article or talk to Bob. She read the article. She wasn’t really paying attention at first, just skimming words, until she reread the first line after finishing.

Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob

Had she read it correctly? She rubbed her eyes.

Step 1) Remember Bob isn’t a person. He’s just a figment of your imagination (as is this paper). If you let him take over he will. Don’t let him. 

Who would write something like this?

If he was real,” the paper continued, “Bob would be a spinach ghost or something.

Like the ghost of someone who died choking on spinach? Or was obsessed with it? Maybe someone dressed as one for Halloween. Or was just called that for some bizarre reason? The possibilities were endless.

No, an old piece of spinach that got eaten and is now fueling your brain cells.

She looked up from the paper. Sure enough Bob was a floating white piece of spinach. 

So wait why was she afraid of him? Did she even have to read the other steps? She felt pretty good already.

She looked down and the paper had one word now: “read on”.

This is like a Jumanji situation where you get pulled into some weird story right? No thanks, she didn’t need to read it.

She set the paper down and walked away. In a blurry haze Bob ran through her stomach. She suddenly felt really nauseous. She went into the bathroom and sat on the floor. She felt tired and wanted to cry for no reason. She wiped her nose and then saw something on the floor tile. A magazine opened to: Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob.

She read on.

Step 2) Although Bob isn’t real, he is very real to you.

Seriously? Paradoxes? Just what I need. She tried to throw the magazine in the toilet, but it stuck to her hand.

She looked at it again.

Bob is more of a metaphor for what’s going on. Because Bob can do you real harm, but he’s also just a spinach ghost, it’s hard to fight back against him. Don’t be afraid to get help. Everyone has encountered Bob at some point in their life.

Sure, sure. She’d heard it all before. What could some article tell her about her own life that she didn’t already know? Why bother someone who wouldn’t even understand anyhow?

She ripped the paper off her hand and flushed it.

The feeling in her stomach had gone away for the moment. Maybe, she was just hungry.

She opened her refrigerator and then Bob went through her again, but this time he then drifted up and whispered something. She couldn’t quite catch it, but knew the idea of what he was saying. 

She closed the door and saw a paper attached by a magnet.

You know why Bob is called a ghost? Because he haunts your thoughts and won’t go away. Which is why I have to be just as insistent.” 

She quickly spun around and went to bed. It was early, but what else was there to do?

Bob spoke, “You think you can escape me in sleep, but here in the dark alone is where I visit you the most. Whispering those things which your friends and family so firmly deny.”

All through the night that stupid spinach wouldn’t leave her and she got up more exhausted than before.

She took out her phone and Bob jumped through it up into her fingers and lit her eyes up. They burned and she rubbed them.

Another add popped up: Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob.

Step 3) Don’t try ignoring him. It’s like trying not to itch your nose when all you can think about is itching your nose. None of these distractions will help you. You have to accept the truth and face him head on.

She could see Bob waiting in the corner to punish her if she listened to its words. It was much simpler to go on as she had been. It couldn’t get worse. She would be fine.

She went outside and took a breath of the cold air. Refreshing. Until Bob swept along her spine and sent a chill into her. Her breath caught and she wheezed in panic. She began to run blindly. 

Her vision went black and then white for a panicky moment, then she could finally see again. She looked down at the hard unforgiving earth below her.

It got worse. Why was she panicking so much? It was laughable.

She laughed, but the feeling wouldn’t go away. She finally took in her surroundings. In the darkness a figure loomed closer. She dove away from the car just in time. 

“Watch it, lady!” She heard someone yell.

Only when she realized that the figure was still there did her hysteria return. It was Bob.

He patted her head and sat by her breathing in her ear.

Now she couldn’t move. 

A newspaper flew through Bob and he disappeared. She snatched it, searching for the step. Perhaps it really could help.

She noticed the date on top. It was February. How had the days flown so quickly? Only yesterday was New Year’s. Ever since then he had bothered her more. What if he never went away? 

The column snapped up and jerked her from these thoughts. There it said: Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob.

Step 4) Don’t be afraid to move on. “Who knows what will change, what consequences I might face?” You think. What consequences will you face without this change though?

You’ve seen it yourself. Don’t deny. Now is the time to act more than ever. Before it’s too late.

Too late. Too late. How ominous. Who was doing this? Why should she listen to such things? She had all the time in the world. In the back of her head- maybe Bob finally giving her some advice- she knew that it would happen again. This little doom-saying paper would shake it’s head sadly and fly on to someone else. 

Why didn’t it try more desperately if it knew how things would end? Does it not care? But it had given her four warnings. The sunrise which usually brought her hope bleached her surroundings leaving her hands deathly pale. She brushed her hair from her face and felt the sickly sweat catch it again.

Would she be like that hair? Caught in Bob’s trap? Did she even have enough time to follow the steps? 

Bob jumped from a tree in front of her. She stumbled to her feet and backed away.

As her fear increased Bob grew.

She spun to run once again. A hoard of little spinach minions surrounded her.

“Please, someone help!” She begged.

Then out of nowhere millions of papers stormed around her cutting the spinach to pieces. A method the Ghostbusters had never heard of. 

The particles sparkled as they fell to the earth and the papers gathered before her assembling into a giant message:

Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob.

Step 2 was far more important than you realized. Of course you can’t do this alone, no one can. That person you need is Jesus because Bob will continue to gnaw on you forever without him.

Step 5) Know God loves you and wants to help you. You just have to accept the gift he has given through Jesus. Although you may face difficulties, know it’s all for his glory. Better are his ways than ours. His will be done and one day we will join him in eternity. Free from Bob.

“You make it all seem so easy, but it’s not-”

No, I never said it would be easy. In fact, the Bible says we will face great trials. However, in the end, God will triumph and the sorrow you feel now will be worth it. Simply trust.

She thought about it for a moment. The particles of Bob gathered together.

“Paper,”

Please, call me Five Easy Steps to Facing Bob.”

“Umm, that’s too long how about Steps?”

The paper agreed.

“Thank you.”

She went home and found an old book she had stuffed in a drawer.

It told her more about the gift God gave and she believed it. 

Bob was still there. He still ran through her and whispered every once in a while. But, now she whispered God’s word back and he quieted. 

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