I wish I could answer her question. It was the only thing she had said to me all day, and I couldn’t tell her yes or no. I didn’t know for sure.
“Is he the one?” she asked as she looked up to me with tears in her eyes.
“I hope so,” I said answering as truthfully as I could.
It had been a problem with her for weeks now and I knew she wasn’t sleeping. She woke in the wee hours of night with a blood curdling scream, sweat dripping from her body and soaking her bed sheets. Poor thing. There was nothing I could do. Each night it was the same thing. Each night she saw him in her dreams. HIM. That was all I knew about what was happening to her in the world beyond daylight. She could never tell me what happened. She was so filled with fear, shaking, teeth chattering, crying uncontrollably, that the only word she could ever say was, “HIM”.
We tried warm milk. We tried bedtime stories. We tried leaving the light on. We even borrowed the neighbor’s dog. Nothing worked. I lied there awake last night waiting for her screams from the next room when I decided I might have a solution. She was the only one who would know what would keep her safe from HIM, so today I took her to the biggest toy store I could find. I felt tiny in comparison to some of the things I saw, so I could only imagine how she felt, but her eyes…her eyes told the tale.
When we walked in, her eyes lit up like Christmas. I hadn’t seen them that bright in weeks, but unfortunately it only illuminated the darkness from her terror even more and the bags under her eyes stood out almost like she had been used as a punching bag. I had only hoped that no one saw the same things I did.
We came upon a row of particularly happy looking bears with pudgy little tummies and brilliant smiles…as brilliant as they could be for bears anyway. This is where she stopped. She trailed her fingers along their little padded feet until she came to one in particular. She took him down from the shelf and eyed him curiously turning him over and over in her 4 year old hands until she finally hugged him to her chest and breathed what I thought was a sigh of relief as tears ran down her cheeks.
“Is he the one?” she asked wondering if this perfect little bear would keep HIM from her dreams.
“Is he the one?” she asked wondering if this little bear with the cute tummy would keep the blood curdling screams at bay and allow her to sleep again.
I should only hope so.
Originally Published on: Oct 23, 2013