I know /əˈfreɪd/ is the schoolbook version of pronouncing "afraid". However, I constantly find myself pronouncing it like /əˈfred/ instead. Is it just a natural thing to do when speaking or does it sound odd to a native speaker?
Thanks in advance!
edit: I would use the first variant in a context where this word receives extra stress i.e. is of some importance, like in "Who is he afraid of?". It's only when the word isn't really important and gets sort of swallowed in the phrase.