Legs shiver as if drenched in ice water. A heavy sensation fills my limbs. Slumber is almost by my door, but I try to keep my eyes open. The moonlight by my window makes me think of lullabies.
My mother flips the pages of Goodnight Moon. Her dark figure by the bedside, a monster in the night. My chest vibrates. Nausea floods my stomach and head. Waves of discomfort slosh with the sushi I ate for lunch. My skin stings, frozen .
But, my cheeks are hot coals. Mom’s voice a soothing heat, gentle whispers. The figure morphs into my loving mother. A sweet smile plastered on her face. Her curly hair in a messy bun with frizz grazing the top. I relax into her affection, she tucks me in. The warm blanket a cocoon of promise, the next morning will come.
A symphony of lyrical rhymes sway my sickness. A purple comforter protects me from shivers. I feel sheltered in this room. The moon, a forever flashlight. Tingles reach my toes. Her voice a podcast in my ears, informative but intriguing. A teenager who craves his mother’s comfort, still. It’s needed, required. My eyelids droop. I don’t think of nothing but Goodnight Moon A click of the door stirs my canals.
Undereye bags are the first thing I see. My eyes widen, my Dad exhausted. His hip leans against the doorway. He reaches Mom’s side, a hand on her shoulder. They stare, lovingly in my direction. I am their child, ready for sleep.
I feel sleep wrap around my face, like a hot towel for a massage. I let the imaginary massage drift me into sleep. I feel cold again, their warmth out of the room. But I feel it in my heart. Through the moonlight, a night light for my fear, I thank the dark for giving me parents to love.
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