“Please, Honey, it’s okay to tell me, you don’t have to hold back—”
I’d finally lost it and exploded, slamming my hands hard on the bed. Mom jumped back in fear. I’d scared myself too. Running my trembling fingers through my wet, cold hair, the choking hold on my throat finally released enough that I could sob, and once it did, I didn’t stop for a long time. It took me a while to realize that she was holding me in her arms, like a child frightened by the monsters under the bed. I needed it. I had needed it for a long time, so long I had nearly forgotten that there was a time I didn’t have horrible nightmares.
I didn’t remember being put back in bed with dry sheets and clothes. I didn’t remember Mom and Dad kissing my soggy head. I didn’t remember Ashlee and Umala looking at each other with a sense of knowing and of empathy and quietly waving goodnight as Dad closed the door.
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