Sunday nights in our house are always so busy. Ever since my wife left, I was in charge of my very, very hyperactive five year old. This always posed a problem for Sundays, school just started for him and he never wants to go.
This made life more difficult since I had to hire a babysitter just to get him to school on time so I could leave for work. Having to be awake at 4:00am was never my idea of a good time but I had to take a new job after the divorce just to support my family.
After she left though, my son, and his imagination seemed to get away from him. He was always worried about ghosts and monsters. This again, made sleep near impossible; even after counseling he was having no luck. It was separation anxiety the Doctor explained, he would grow out of it, I just need to keep showing him that I am here and that it was not his fault.
I did not think anything of his wild stories of monsters until that Sunday night… when it happened.
Bedtime, finally, I made my rounds about the house to show him the doors and windows were locked. A nightly routine that he would not let me forget no matter what I was doing. We went upstairs and brushed our teeth together, after all I wanted to lead by example. Then it was time to change into pajamas, Monsters Inc. his favorite, which probably did not help his fears despite the classic Disney happy ending.
Then a bedtime story, lights out, nightlight on, and off to bed for me. This was normal enough in our house and in bed at 10:00pm, which was still far too late for him but finally getting to a better hour. However, not much more than half an hour later I heard him scream.
I rushed over to his room and flipped the light on. I see my son still under the covers just like I left him looking right at me, wide awake.
‘Bad dreams’, I ask him ‘Is everything okay?’
‘Daddy, could you check under the bed?’ He says to me
With a smile I say ‘Of course son, what are you afraid of?’
‘I think there is a monster under my bed’ He explains
‘It’s okay I’ll look, you’ll see.’ I tell him trying to comfort him so that he may get back to sleep soon.
Smiling as I get on my knees, I lift up his blankets, grab a flashlight, and stick my head to the ground. The space was no more than 6 inches; even still, he was scared. I turn on the light, my heart stopped.
I saw it, my son, under the bed, with tears in his eyes looking right at me. It was impossible, I was petrified; I could not say a word.
‘Daddy, someones in my bed.’ Were the last words I heard
Then everything went black…