I’m quite sure that my body is becoming immune to caffeine, or perhaps it’s just shutting down and crying out for mercy. I’m like a rag doll the last few days.
Thursday was our first day of school for the big darlings. We were all ready to go Wednesday night, with everything set out and alarm clocks checked and quadruple checked. I noticed big darling was acting a bit odd. He didn’t eat dinner, even though he was served a special meal that he requested. I chalked it up to first day of school jitters….until he stood next to my bed at 2 am with a crazy look in his eyes and said, “I’m scared,” followed by “Call the police!” and “Someone’s in here!”
Let’s just pause and place special emphasis on the fact that a year ago someone was in here holding a gun to my temple and telling me they were going to kill me. I’m not even quite sure how to adequately describe the wave of terror that washed over my body in that instant. Exactly how fast can a person’s heart beat until it just explodes?
It took me a few seconds to come to my senses. We have a security system. I am a complete obsessive compulsive disorder freakazoid when it comes to home security. I check the locks no less than three times every night. I check the alarm as many times too, as well as other peripheral gadgets like my invisible minefields, which lay waiting for some unsuspecting thug to set them off and blast them to smithereens. (Wait…what?) My security was not breached; I knew there was no way in hell someone was in here. I start explaining that we are safe…but he’s pointing. He’s trying to show me something. Sweet Baby Jesus, please don’t let me see an apparition of Dave hovering in the corner of the room. Knees shaking, hands trembling, eyes squinting and heart pounding, I grab him gently and wrap my arms and legs around him and pray silently that the hair is not standing straight up on the back of my neck because we are in the midst of paranormal activity. The sudden appearance of zombies would not surprise me at this point. As soon as I touch him I realize he’s got fever. SHIT! Tomorrow is the first day of school. Of course, children of shit magnets are sick on the first day of school.
I calmly tell him I’m just going to the kitchen to get medicine. When I return, he has vanished. I call to him. There is no answer. I call again. He reluctantly and with wild eyes steps out of my closet, where he was ‘hiding from them.’ This is when I start silently cursing Dave, asking him if he’s happy that the sustained emotional torture is now oozing out of this small boy’s body, perhaps the fever and illness provides the opportunity. I curse our lives, and feel the full realization that we have not yet recovered from the severe stress and trauma that he left us to just ‘deal with’. Truly, will we ever fully recover? “Give these boys a better life,” he said. Yes, I’ll get right on that once your oldest son stops hallucinating next to our bed.
This is not the first time I’ve experienced this with big darling. Since Dave died, it seems to happen only when he gets a fever, which has been twice now. The anxiety of what could happen if he had such an episode while away from home sickens me. The first time it happened, which was months ago, he actually did manage to set the security alarm off. Deafening sirens in the middle of the night, me, thrust awake in absolute panic and unsure whether an armed intruder was again in our presence. When the alarm company called to ask if we were safe, I couldn’t even find him. He was hiding in his closet behind his clothes…invisible to me. She kept asking me if we were safe. No bitch, we are not safe. And I don’t think we’ll ever be truly safe again.
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