“MOMMY! MOMMY! HELP!”
Harmony burst into her parents’ bedroom in tears and hysterics. Melody hadn’t been slept well since River had been away, but that was one of those rare nights she went into a deep sleep only to be awakened by her youngest’s screams.
She was conditioned to arise at the sound of her children’s voices, but from there everything was muddled. She heard her daughter yelling something, but she didn’t even feel like she was in the room. Am I still sleeping? Wha…Harmony…bad dream…ok. Finally, she threw her feet over the side of the bed and planted them on the floor. Harmony was still wailing.
Melody still was not completely together. Everything was foggy, and the noise…oh, the noise. In that moment, she understood why some species ate their young. “Shhhh! Harmony, please calm down. Come here.” She patted the spot on the bed next to her.
“Now, tell me what’s the matter with your inside voice.”
Harmony was still sobbing and wiping her eyes. “Aliens came and took daddy away! They said he was important and they wouldn’t bring him back!” She began wailing again. “I want them to bring daddy back!”
Melody scooped her daughter up in her arms and held her tightly. She rubbed her arm and shushed her until she calmed down. “It was just a dream, baby. It wasn’t real. Daddy is…” She remembered she hadn’t told her where he was yet. “I’m sure he’s fine, ok? It was just a bad dream.”
She got some tissues from the nightstand drawer to dry her daughter’s eyes and blow her nose. “Are you ok now?”
“Ready to go back to bed?”
“Mommy can I stay with you?”
Melody sighed, but not out of frustration. It was strange. Up until that night she had been upset about the other half of her bed being empty. However, for just one night, she was glad to have the space to comfort her child.
When she reached to turn out the lights, Harmony asked if she would keep them on. The next sigh she let out was a frustrated one.
“I love you, mommy.”
That made it worth it.