I wake up covered in cold sweat, sick with fear. I know it was just a bad dream and yet I have to get up and see her, just to see that she’s okay. Barefoot, not turning on the lights even though it’s midnight, I walk toward her. He opens his golden eyes and looks at me, and I start to breathe, realizing only then that I was holding my breath.
His gaze is calm, so I also calm down. I feel sorry for waking her and take comfort in thinking that it is always easy for her to sleep.
However, sleeping is not so easy for me. I don’t even remember the nightmares and I don’t want to; all I want is for her to be safe, and there is nothing in the world that can guarantee that to me. Nothing and no one could guarantee me that someone would not hit her with a car for the fun of it, or that they would not cut her up and post the photos on Facebook or videos on YouTube. People are getting more and more angry, more and more nervous, and many of them like to take it out on those who are smaller and weaker than they are, and she is so small and vulnerable. I tell myself that she has her own strengths anyway, that she is really smart and careful, sometimes even more careful than I am! – but that’s not enough to comfort me.
Sometimes I think about locking her up, not letting her leave the house. There are people who do that, some of them even pride themselves on being careful and reasonable. However, he couldn’t do that to her. He couldn’t just lock her up and take away her freedom. Even if you lived longer that way, would you be as happy as now, free to do whatever you want and go where you please (within reasonable limits, of course; if there’s a neighbor with a bad dog, I’ll go) yell at him for walking up to that garden, and going ahead and laughing at me for acting silly, I dare you!)?
I lie in my bed, still awake, still fearing for her, when she comes to see me. Has she heard me? Did I make any noise that I didn’t even realize? Or have you felt something? I don’t know, and at the time it doesn’t matter. I look at the contours of her small body, her beautiful golden eyes, and I calm down. There it is, right in front of me, and it’s fine. She is perfectly fine.
I make myself comfortable as she jumps onto my bed and purrs me to sleep peacefully.
This story first appeared in Bibliophilic Blather.