He murmurs and rustles around in his bed, and I find myself holding my breath, hoping his movements cease. I settle back into my pillow, turning onto my right side to go back to sleep. The street light filters in through the gaps in the blue cotton sheet curtains Jennie made for me several years ago, and I can’t get back to sleep, worrying that his fever is back up.
I sit up and swing my legs over the side of the bed, touching the cool, worn, dark wood floor. The ill-fitted glass door handle takes an extra turn to disengage it, but I hear nothing as I tip-toe through the sitting room, trying to step easy on the creaking boards as I make my way past the built-in, glass-covered cabinet where the eight setting, black and green accented, White Lily Corelle dishware, glints in the dusky moon-lit room, the mismatched drinking glasses and Tupperware sippy-cups taking up the second shelf. The double windows across the room are flanked by hideous floor-length, white polyester, purple and blue-rose patterned drapes, given to me by my aunt, Mary, after the last time she visited and saw the bare windows throughout the apartment.
The kitchen’s tan and white stone textured linoleum flooring feels cooler than the wood floors, but doesn’t creak. The 1950’s era white Formica kitchen table stands next to the kitchen window, where the hanging spider plant casts an elongated shadow across the table’s surface.
Over the sink, the green Granny Smith-apple shaped clock’s minute hand sounds its steady tick-tick-tick, the time reading 2:30 a. m.
He cries out, as though he knows I’m standing there, and I wait before entering his room, knowing the very creaky old floor boards will fully wake him if I go in now. I decide to grab the ear thermometer and step lightly off to the right of his room, entering the narrow bathroom, going past the tub to the mirrored medicine cabinet on the opposite side of the room above the sink. I find the thermometer on the middle glass shelf, and push the cabinet door into the squeeze latch to shut it.
I tip-toe back to his room and stifle a laugh as I see his little body turned sideways, his legs draping over his toddler bed while the upper half of his body remains on the bed. He must have tried to get up and fell back asleep in the trying. I move stealthily, kneeling beside him to lift up his legs back onto the bed. He rouses and starts to cry and I tell him I’m there, and I’ll rub his back after I take his temperature. The thermometer reads 99°F. He has fallen asleep again, but I lay down beside him and rub his back lightly over his Elmo pajamas.
He wakes me up several hours later, laughing that ‘mommy’s in his room’.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.