I don't know if you know this about me, but I spook easily. Funny shadows and strange noises make my heart race. Scary movies give me nightmares. I'm no fan of the dark.
I get even more spooked out when Nelson is on travel, which he has been this week (in New Hampshire, funnily enough staying at a famously haunted hotel.) Our house is really old and really quiet at night, which is great, except when you DO hear something, a creak or a bump, it's even spookier because it is always so silent.
This not to say my house is scary. I've never really been scared of my house. I know some old houses are spooky but mine is not one of them. Mine is very comforting and homey. It has always calm and safe to me.
Last night, I was having trouble falling asleep, as I often do when Nelson it out of town. I finally fell asleep while reading a book a book that was a little odd (monsters and elves and witches and magicians), and I fell right into a dream about this book. So, the dream was a little odd. Not scary exactly, but definitely a little creepy. I don't really remember the dream, just that it had to do with the book and it had a creepy feeling.
I woke with a start because I heard the water go on in my bathroom sink. It came on slowly, went off, and then came on with a more forceful rushing sound, and then went off again. There seemed to be some stirring in the bathroom. I check the time and it was 12:30am, so I'd been asleep for maybe an hour, hour and a half. After a few seconds, the water came on again in the same pattern; slow, off, rushing, off.
I was feeling a little creepy from my dream, and the water sounds from the dark bathroom sent one of those ice water chills down my spine. Who or what was in my goddamn bathroom? Whenever I have these moments, I remind myself that I'm a parent now and I need to harness my irrational fears and look for rational answers, so that's what I did.
Miles had woken briefly earlier in the evening and stumbled sleepily through my room and into the bathroom. He came out teary-eyed requesting water. I went into his room and got his water cup and gave it to him. He drank it down and I went into the bathroom to refill it. He drank some more and then I walked him back to bed.
So, I decided it was certainly possibly that it was Miles in the dark bathroom getting himself a drink. He can reach the faucet when he uses his stool, which is permanently beside the sink, and he loves to drink directly from the faucet. So I called out to him.
"Miles? Miles? Is that you? Whatcha doing, buddy?"
And then things got eerily quiet. I had sensed some stirring from the bathroom, but after I called to Miles things were just...still.
(I'm getting chills remembering this.)
So, I was like, okay, it MUST be Miles, right? Because he heard me calling and went still because he's not supposed to play at the sink. So I called him again.
"Miles? Miles come in here with Momma."
Stillness. Quiet. Chills.
Miles was NOT in that bathroom. Who or what was in my damn bathroom?
And then I had to pee.
There was no avoiding it. I had to get up and go into the bathroom. Even if I did not have to pee, faucets running at midnight bear checking out. I turned on my lamp.
My dog was by the bed and she was only slightly disturbed by my calling and the light. At that point, I knew no one and nothing were in the bathroom. She'd have heard them; she'd have growled or barked. I marched myself into the bathroom.
I flicked on the light. Empty. The sink was a little damp near the drain, but there did not seem to be fresh water because of course there was no fresh water because no one was in my bathroom. I realized that the faucet sounds were likely just pieces of my dream that had broken through to reality as I was waking up. I sat in bed with the lights on for a few moments to reassure myself, and then went back to sleep with little trouble.
Several hours later, I was woken again, this time by the sound of Miles crying. He was crying and saying, "No! No, no, no! Oscar? Oscar?" (Oscar was beside me in the bed already, having sneaked in at some earlier point in the night.)
He came out of his room, shut his bedroom door, and continued crying, asking for me. He was a bit confused, and did not seem to know quite what to do next.
"Miles, I'm in here Miles. So is Oscar. Come on in, buddy."
He stumbled in and I hoisted him up onto my bed where he promptly snuggled into my armpit.
"Are you okay, buddy?"
"No one's out there? No one's out there?"
He was shaking. He was clearly terrified. He was asking for reassurance.
"Nope, no one's out there," I told him, and as I said it, I shivered a little myself.