all those dark nights when I was just a little child

Kali,” I breathed, my voice barely audible.

Her body moved.  I tugged her shoulder, shaking her body lightly.

Kali!” I muttered.  My voice raised a notch.  I spoke her name several times, until my voice was a clear whisper.  Her yes flickered opened and I took the opportunity given to me.

Here.  Get on my bed.”  The poor girl was too tired to do anything else but what she was told.  Eyes barely open, she looked around dozed and then pushed herself up.  I moved to the inside and made her room.  Grabbing her pillow, she lay next to me within seconds.

I scooted to the wall and glued myself there.  Since I tricked her into sleeping with me, I might as well make it as comfortable for her.

Not even a second later, Kali was back asleep and I could truly breath again.

The following night, I played to do the same thing again.  Wait till she was fast asleep, in order to wake her and tell her to get in my bed.

Each night, was the same story.  I bride Kali with all kinds of things.  She hardly ever slept in her bed, because most nights she ended up on the pull-out bed under my own.  She was inches away from me.  However, it was never enough.  I only felt safe if she lay exactly next to me.

Kali!” I said, my voice confidant.

What?”  She asked me, grumpy after I woke her up.

Get in bed with me!”  I was positive my new plan of attack would work.

Let me sleep!”  She hissed and turned the other way.

Looks like my plan wasn’t as successful as I thought it would be.  I never tried it on her again.  I knew it wasn’t fun to be awaken in the night.

Then again, it was never fun laying with eyes wide open for hours.

I would imagine hands coming up from under my bed, ants coming from the floor to bite me, people breaking in and hurting me, a mad scientist under my bed, demons… they haunted me.

I went from sleeping in mom and dad’s bed, with them – to them, taking turns and laying in bed with me until I fell asleep. No matter how much I tried, my eyes would not close.  Not if a person didn’t lay beside me, to protect me.  Someone stronger than me, bolder.  I knew I was weak and an easy prey.

I suppose, I’ve always been a night watcher of some sorts.  Struggled to sleep.  Either from unable to find comfort or of terror.

Younger, I never liked to say, I was afraid of something.  I never said I was afraid of the dark – I just didn’t like it.  I could see clearly.  Things could hide in the dark and sneak out on me.  The idea of not knowing, petrified me.

This fear kept me from being able to sleep on my own for years.  The first time I finally slept all by myself was forced.  Gina had just moved down to Athens for her year at the Bible school and Kali had gone to Bulgaria with dad.  I was left on my own.  I suppose I could have slept with mom.

I put a CD on by Ana Laura and listened to it for hours.  Some of her songs gave me the strength to allow God to pour courage in me.  You see, I always said, “Right now, I sleep in the same room with my sisters, when I go to College in the states the first years I’ll be with Gina and the next with Kali, and then when I’m done I’ll get married.  I’ll never have to sleep by myself!”

And here I am, tomorrow, I will be cleaning up my own room – the one I shared with Kali.  I’ll be making it my own.  This will be my first room – at least for now, I’ll be able to fix it as I please.  The bedroom I grew up in.  The bedroom that made me feel weak and afraid.  Currently, I’m sleeping in Gina’s old room – I was even more afraid of this one, it’s easier for people to come in.  (No one ever has.)

My, how times have changed.  The dark isn’t as scary anymore.

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