It was 2:56 in the morning. My husband was gone and I was home with the kids, they were in bed sleeping peacefully.
I couldn’t sleep. I can never sleep when he’s gone. It’s one of the very unfortunate things of my marriage. We both leave a lot, natural busy-bodies, yet neither can sleep when the other is away. Truth was, I missed him. And, I guess if I’m being totally honest, I’m slightly afraid of the dark. I was a kid afflicted with a horror movie addiction. In addition to that, I have always entertained a wild imagination; who would have thought how well the two go hand-in-hand when home alone in the dark? I must have thought up four novels that night alone.
So, there I was lying in bed- alone, tired, and hyperaware of my surroundings. Shadows lingering through my house. The clocks tick louder when he’s away. My phone buzzes with every single facebook post. I was surprised at how many people are up in the wee morning, playing on facebook. My phone is usually on its charger late at night, but I typically keep it right next to me when he’s gone.
My mind wandered to some strange places with the sounds of the ambulance in the background. The clock tower rings on the hour, 24 hours a day and the boats and trains pass through around the clock. These are noises that I have become so accustomed to that I never really notice them, but all of that changes when my husband is away.
I glance at the clock again… 2:58. It’s going to be a long night. I decided to get up and go to the bathroom. I’m not sure why, I didn’t really have to go, but it was one of those moments where I figured I might as well do something because sleep would elude me anyway. Perhaps I just wanted the lights on.
I went downstairs to use the bathroom. I could hear the dog breathing and this was relaxing to me. I started to play with things in the first drawer, when out of nowhere my son’s words from about three weeks ago, popped into my brain.
“Momma, did you know that Jesus died on the cross at 3:00 in the morning, so that’s when the devil and his demons come out? They are all over the place then. That’s why it’s important to be in bed asleep. That’s how God protects you.”
At the time, that was irrational to me and I quickly debunked it. I explained to him that doctors and nurses work around the clock, and many third shifters are up throughout the night. I told him his friends were trying to scare him and that there was nothing to worry about.
It’s funny how this creeps up in the middle of the night at the most inopportune times. Logically, I know this is irrational. When I’m home alone and 3:00 in the morning hits and I happen to be awake and it’s dark and quiet, it’s far more plausible. I tell myself that if there was a problem, my dog would bark. My head started to question if the dog would indeed bark at a ghost. I then told myself I was being irrational and there is no such thing as ghosts.
I heard the clock tower strike 3:00. I listened to the dog snoring and immediately the door to the bathroom opened. I screamed and jumped off the toilet at the same time. My heart was racing. The dog goes wild. The culprit looks up at me and meows. Stupid cat.