I woke to the sound of your cry. My bedroom was pitched black, it was some time in the wee hours of the morning, and I was still warmly and comfortably curled underneath my covers in bed.
This has been our routine the last few weeks. You wake up some time between 2 and 3 in the morning, crying. I walk to your door, reassure you I’m still here, tell you I love you, and tell you to go back to sleep. You normally wail a bit more dramatically when I tell you to back to sleep. You always want me to pick you up and carry you back to my bed so you can sleep beside me. Nevertheless, you’re always asleep again minutes later. I’m not sure why this started or why it continues. You had been sleeping through the night with no issues the preceding months.
I laid in my bed waiting for you to cry again, silently hoping you’d go back to sleep on your own. A few moments later I heard another soft wail, yet I remained in my bed. Something didn’t feel right. There was a nagging thought percolating in the back of my brain. Something was out of place, but what that was eluded me in my foggy state.
You weren’t there.
For a moment my mind raced with possibilities. Did your mother break into my house and leave you there? As impossible and improbable as that seems, should I get up and check anyhow? Had I forgotten what day it was? Or was I simply hearing things? Was I dreaming that I had just woken? Why on Earth do I hear your cries when I’m the only human in the house? Was my subconscious merely playing tricks on me?
While my mind raced my ears were keen, awaiting even the slightest sound, but I heard no more cries. After a couple more minutes I decided that I had been hearing things, but then I began to wonder why I had heard your phantom cries. Were you awake at this very moment at your mother’s house? Were you begging her, as you do to me, to sleep in bed with her? Had something happened? Were you alright?
Surely you were fine. Had something horrible happened to you your mom would have called me. I checked my phone to ensure that was the case and the only thing my phone told me was that it was still pretty damned hot outside despite the fact that it was the middle of the night. There were no texts, missed calls, or emails.
I began to doubt myself. Had I really heard crying at all? Was I going insane? Well, even more insane than I already am? Was I merely missing you? Was my body just so used to our nightly routine that it manufactured your cries when they failed to come? I was contemplating all sorts of unlikely scenarios when the sandman dragged me back to Neverland.
When my alarm woke me this morning my first thought was that of what had happened in the middle of the night. I rose from my bed and walked to your room. Your bed was conspicuously empty. Your blankets were in a haphazard pile at the foot of the bed. Your Scout puppy toy was still face down on the floor where it had fallen from your nocturnal grasp the night before.
I’m still left to wonder what this all means, if anything at all. My very worst fear is of something horrible happening to you or your brothers, so the fact that I heard your cries when you weren’t even there has me slightly disturbed. I hope it was just nothing. I hope it was just an illusion of my sleeping subconscious. I don’t know that I could handle it if something happened to you.