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Bumps in the Night


I knew those footsteps, 2:30 in the morning slightly heavy footed and determined walking down the dark hallway into our bedroom.

Was she sick?

Her hair short, puffy, and poignant. She was standing there in her tall twelve-year-old self, wide awake and restless, next to my bedside.

“Did you come into my room?” she asked.

“No”, I whispered.

I was awake, but confused, wondering why she would be asking me such a question in the middle of the night, also a bit uneasy because I was about to ask the next more obvious question.

“Why?” I asked.

“My door was open, and I locked my door before I went to sleep…” she insisted while becoming more agitated.

She had been on a kick watching ghost shows recently. It was becoming her new routine. She would get home from school, say hello, put her backpack down, grab a snack and snuggle on the couch with her baby sister while watching ghost hunting shows for about an hour.

I thought it was sweet because she was involving her sister in this dubious ritual, however it was now part of the reason as to why I was up at 2:30 in the morning.

Back in the bedroom, I say. “I dunno doll, maybe Dadda went into your room to check on you before he went to sleep.”

 “No, he never comes into my room”, she shifts from side to side, clearly rattled.

There was silence, which made the night appear bleaker.

She did have a point, Jason never went into her room, rarely. They have a great relationship those two, but he knows it’s strange pre-teen territory in there.

I wanted to believe he did go in there though, ugh, I was silently freaked out a bit myself.

“Do you wanna sleep with us?” I ask.

She looked around, glanced at the floor, then the doorway. “It’s creepy down there”.

“You can sleep up with us...” I gestured patting the area between Jason, who was sound asleep, and I.

She’s about my size and squeezing her into our queen size bed with our little boston terrier mix chihuahua would be a tight fit for all, but she would feel secure and my hopes to snuggle with her again in bed would be a faded mom dream brought back to life and possibly fulfilled.

She hesitated a bit, then turned while whispering, “Fine, I’ll go get my pillow.”

I felt the fear radiating from her body. I was surprised that she wanted to make that journey down the ominous hallway again.

When she got back, there were no monsters, ghosts, or goblins for her to report.

She clumsily climbed into our bed and roused up the dog, forcing him to find a new spot to curl up on.  She didn’t get under the blankets, I held them up for her and she turned her head towards Jason and repulsively said, “ewe”. I understood, from her perspective.

I offered her my “extra blanket”, she agreed and tried to get comfortable. I turned to my side and tried to get comfortable too. I smiled, knowing that she still had that little girl, I’m afraid of the dark, I’m gonna sleep with mom and dad person as a part of her.

Perhaps we still have that person inside of us. It fades with time lying dormant, later brought out by fear or distraught.

She continues to fidget and adjust, the minutes tick by and the night remains restless. A few times I began to drift off, but then caught myself checking the doorway for possible ghosts or spooky thing that may have escaped her bedroom.

Finally, after about an hour of tossing and turning, she sat up, grabbed her pillow and without hesitation headed towards her bedroom braving, the dark night with all the wild branches of her imagination scarping the sides of the walls as she walked.

The next morning, I talked to Jason about the eventful night and anticipated what his explanation would be. He had a good one, he went into her bedroom that night. He saw her lights on under her door, went in and turned them off, then left, leaving the door partly open.

We don’t watch as many ghost shows anymore and I have since saged her room and bought her an extra night light.

A wise man by the name of Wayne Dyer once said, “You’ll see it when you believe it”. That night, the kid just wanted to see some ghosts. Perhaps, one day that may happen. 
I on the other hand definitely saw a spirit that night and it was hers, one of imagination, possibilities and evidence. Evidence that she still finds refuge with Mom and Dad when there are bumps in the night.