By the time I was five, we lived in a brand new three bedroom, one bath house with a huge backyard on Lexar Court. My mom and I were alone on the couch.
“It’s in the den, honey.” My mother said, sending me to the far end of our long, dark hallway to get…what, I don’t remember.
“No, mommy.” I said, “I can’t go back there. There are monsters!”
“Oh, don’t be silly!” My mom balked, “There are no such things as monsters.”
“But, mommy! Yes there are. I’ve seen them!” I said. I was convinced, but apparently not convincing.
“Honey. There are not.” My mother’s glare was stern. She wasn’t going to accept a no.
Begrudgingly, I stood up, my heart pounding. I’d have to run as fast as my little legs would go if I were to outrun the boogey monsters. I made my way out of the living room and shifted my weight from one pajama-clad foot to the other, hesitating at the gaping maw of the blackened hallway.
“It’s ok, go ahead,” my mother said, shooing me with one hand. I gulped and mentally prepared for the terrifying journey. I made two false starts, sure I’d seen shadows pass between the rooms before hearing my mother bark, “Just go!”
I took a deep breath and broke into a dead run. I zipped past the first dark, monster-filled bedroom, positive I saw several wispy, ghost-like arms reaching for me as I passed. The second bedroom, mine, felt miles away and certainly hid something even worse. My heart was racing and my eyes were saucers. I was glad when light reflecting on the wall ahead suggested I was reaching the end of the hall. I’d need to turn fast and dive into the third-bedroom-turned-den on the left if I was to outrun the scary things in my room. I put my hand up over my little head ready to flip on the light switch, skidded into a 90 degree left, zipped out two more steps and SLAMMED, face first, right into a closed door. I bounced backward, landing on my butt near the threshold of my room.
“What was that?” My mom called. I pressed my palms into my aching face and sat in the darkness, tears welling up into my already swelling eyes. Boogey things be danged, I got up and padded toward the lighted end of the long hall. I rounded the corner into the living room where my mother sat. She took one look at me and burst out laughing. My nose was throbbing and my eyelids were swelling shut. I went to sit next to her on the couch, then leaned my head on her shoulder for comfort. She kept laughing.
Still pressing my hands under my puffy eyes, I looked up at her and saw tears streaming down her face. “Mommy,” I said. “It really hurts.”
My mother didn’t bother to put her arms around me. Didn’t bother to ask me if I was okay. Didn’t bother to tell me everything would be alright. I was so confused. Why was she laughing at me? Why wasn’t she hugging me or kissing my forehead? What was wrong with her? More importantly, what was wrong with me?
“Where are you going now?” my mother giggled as I stomped away. I didn’t bother to answer. I just skulked toward my room, angry that she was making me feel so much worse. The laughter stopped abruptly, “Oh, don’t be so sensitive! Jesus Christ.”
In my room, I couldn’t make sense of my mother’s reaction. I sat on my bed and ran through the experience over and over again in my mind, wondering what was wrong with me. Eventually, I fell asleep. By morning, I had forgotten all about it.
(Continued in chapter 1C – click here)