I was bound to be a little jumpy.
The night was strange, starless and grey. Outside the window, I could see the moon in the hollow spaces in the clouds, its light highlighting the soft, wispy blanket that veiled it.
I was too frightened to sleep.
I remember every bit of it because I was eight and that was the day I had sipped a little alcohol from my father’s glass. I had regretted it instantly. My sister told me about hangovers and the side effects of drinking and it added to the terror I felt about the whole endeavor. I figured that I could manage with the dehydration and headaches, but I needed my memory.
So I memorized every detail of that day.
If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have remembered anything about being eight. I wonder if my bedroom’s still as it used to be.
I hadn’t any idea why my family members laughed every time they recalled the incident. I do now, and it was certainly very funny.
But didn’t anybody remember what happened that night? Or did they just assume that I had forgotten and didn’t bring it up because I wasn’t amusing enough for them that night?
I sigh as I step into the cab. I can’t blame anyone for finding me cute and interesting. I should be flattered, but somehow I wasn’t. I was a kid. Everybody loved it, I hated it.
“Where to, ma’am?” The driver asks without turning around. He can see me in the mirror, he knows by my attire that I’m going somewhere special.
I tell him the address and sit back comfortably in my seat.
“A party, ma’am?” He asks as he starts up the engine.
I smile. I realize that I am, indeed, overdressed. I tell him about the family reunion at my old home.
We remain quiet after that. I sink into my memories again, feeling nostalgic and a little awkward.
I had a small, single bed in the corner of my bedroom, as if the bed were the least important part of the BEDroom. The wall behind my bed had a large window so I could stare at the sky and count the stars as I drifted off to sleep.
Was the wall adjacent to my bed pink or blue? The day I had a sip of alcohol, what did I see when I went to bed? Perhaps it was too dark to see anything.
I remember being uneasy while sleeping. In fact, I don’t think I remember sleeping at all. I think I was frightened of the delusions I thought I’d have while ‘drunk’. I flinched at everything that moved. The windows that rustled from time to time, the door that creaked as the breeze played with it…
I had a hollow, wooden door?
I think it was blue; no, it was cream.
Where was it?
Window behind me, wall beside me, barren if not for the light bulb at the high end;
The third wall had a mirror and a dressing table. I remember keeping all my toys there and getting into trouble for that. Also, there was a blue door.
No… no. That night I stared at the door. It was on the fourth wall.
Nothing else was on the fourth wall.
A cream colored, hollow door; Watching it sway with the wind was what finally put me to sleep.
I remember because I was so scared.
I remember the whispers under my bed.
I remember being wide awake.
I remember looking under the bed.
I remember screaming.
I also remember mum and dad coming to my aid.
But I do not remember what I saw under the bed. And I can’t, no matter how hard I try.
Mum searched under the bed. She found nothing at all. I wasn’t quite convinced, but I felt safer because she decided to squeeze in with me in the tiny bed.
And that was it.
The cab stops. I hand him a tip as I step out and walk towards my old home. I feel eerie.
Calm down, I tell myself.
I smile and wave at the relatives gathered but all I really want to do is go to my room and solve the mystery once and for all. I feel like a child, although everyone keeps reminding me about how I’ve grown up and how tiny I was when they last saw me. I resist the urge to comment that they saw me a week ago in the supermarket and excuse myself from the crowd.
I stare at the room. I wonder what’s under the bed.
I walk past the dressing table, or at least where it used to be. The wallpaper’s old and dusty. The bulb on the second wall has been replaced by a tube light.
The bed is intact.
I walk towards it, dreading every step. I breathe. I bend down.
I look under the bed.
I walk back to the door. For a while I’m confused. I stare at the fourth wall, my face blanker that the wall itself. I turn to see the dressing table.
The cream colored door is gone.
It was never there.
This doesn't even feel like my room anymore.
Written by WaveDivisionMultiplexer