I am not what you have waited forIt's four in the morning and I can't sleep. Can't settle. Can't soothe myself, can't find anyone awake to do it for me. Lochlan's in a dream, in his own joyland right now, so deeply asleep I was able to pull his arms away and get up without him even breaking his breathing. The dog didn't lift his head up from his spot on the floor. The motion sensor lights didn't come on and there's no one around who would normally be awake at this hour to ambush me. I'm on my own in the dark and it feels unfamiliar, a stranger to a girl who, believe it or not, prefers the sun.
I made rounds first. Checking each room. Doors, windows, thermostats. Boys. Cats. Children. Lights in the other houses. Alarm last. I get some orange juice and head back upstairs, rushing just a little bit because the lady from The Conjuring 2 movie trailer just landed on my brain reminding me of what happens when you walk around in the dark alone. I make it back upstairs without being haunted, crawling in from Ben's side since I don't have to climb up the middle when he's away. I put my hand on Lochlan's forehead and consider waking him up.
I'm awake. He startles me and I peep really loud. He bursts out laughing as we shush each other.
You're supposed to wake me before you leave the room, Peanut. Why are you up?
Just checking doors.
Trying to escape? He frowns in the dark.
I smile bitterly and throw my hands up. Nothing I can say to that.
What would make you happy right now, Bridget?
A Monte Cristo with fries and a bourbon.
How specific. I thought you would say Ben.
I'm hungry. I shrug. I'm also full of shit.
How about for lunch later but sleep for now or you're going to be a little maniac later today.
We settle back in, Loch pulling the quilts up around my back, tucking me in underneath him where it's warm and I can't breathe. He is back asleep in what seems like seconds and I lie there in the dark, eyes wide open, watching the ghosts stare back at me over his shoulder but longing for the living like you wouldn't believe.