==>Dave: Wake up
The clock beside your bed reads 6:12 in the morning and something woke you up.
You lie still as you listen to the room, which is silent but for the whirr of the air conditioner, and dark but for the early morning light coming in underneath the heavy hotel drapes.
It doesn’t happen often, and if it happens more often than you know about it, you don’t often hear it, since you don’t sleep in the same room at home. You hate when she cries, but it’s not as bad when she’s asleep, since she can’t help it then. As your eyes adjust to the light, you can see that she’s turned away from you, and you can hear her breath hitch every so often, and she mumbles in an incoherent way that tells you she’s still asleep.
She’s had bad dreams ever since you can remember, ever since you woke up from one of your own bad dreams to find her out at the table, sewing on a weird looking orange puppet, her everpresent shades pushed down her nose a little bit so she could see the tiny stitches. You knew before she could tell you that she had nightmares.
You get up quietly, so as not to wake her, and pad over to her bed, carefully getting up to lie beside her. Her shades are off. You so rarely see her without them, even in sleep, and it makes her look simultaneously older than she is, and younger than she is. Tears have pooled in the little hollow between the corner of her eye and her nose.
You lay your head on your arm and with your other hand, you pet her hair. “It’s okay, Mom. It’ll be okay.” Your voice is very quiet.
You’ve done this before, but you don’t think Mom realizes that you have.
After a moment, she answers, “Okay,” in this heavy, thick voice that tells you she’s still asleep. But after that, she sleeps peacefully.
You still don’t know what’s going on. But you do trust that your mother knows what’s best for you.
So you shut your eyes and sleep again. Mom’s quiet now and everything’s okay.