“Honey, our son is not in his room.”
I stare back at my wife in her cute pink pyjamas and ruffled hair, looking all beautiful yet panicky. It takes me back to the first day I met her back in my sophomore year. She had worn this dirty-blue coloured three-quarter skirt and paired it with a polka dot crop shirt, beanie, and a cross bag.
I hadn’t known what to make of her outfit, but when I heard her laugh later that day, I knew I would spend the rest of my life with her, making her laugh and listening to the echoes of happiness.
We were married a year later, and it was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me. I had won the woman of my heart. The lady with the smiles and contagious happiness. We weathered the bad days, never relenting in our love and commitment to each other. When the good days came, the laughter was loud, harmonious, and so contagious that our neighbours would join in from their living rooms.
Whenever I think about our newly married, blissful moments, my heart fills with love and contentment. Our happiness had no bounds when our son came to us a year later. He was everything perfect. His eyes, chestnut, like his mother’s and facial features like mine. He was so vulnerable and fragile, and yet so welcoming and happy.
We were unable to get enough sleep watching him together, so we took turns. During my shift, I would cradle him in my arms and watch his mother sleep.
My perfect world.
Nothing could beat the happiness of having these two with me. Their smiles and laughter were all I needed to fill me with joy. Looking at her now, I regret not meeting her sooner. Not having her in my life earlier.
“Honey. Come to bed.”
“How can you say that? Our son is not in his room and you’re asking me to come to bed.”
“Our son is fine. He is sleeping.”
“He is not. You need to get up. He must be causing a mess already.” I know she will not relent. She loves her son too much to do so and will not take my word for it.
“Okay. I’m coming.” The torch is by my bedside, as it’s been this past year.
“Where do we check? The kitchen? The patio?”
Her eyes are heavy with worry. “I know where we can check. Come on.”
Our son has been sleeping out of his room this past year. My wife would find out, wake me and we would go for him. It’s been a year of games, and I don’t know how long I can keep up. I spoke to the doctor about it, and she says it’ll pass. It’s just a phase. My wife will get used to it soon.
As we’ve been doing this past year, we’re making our way through the backdoor out of the house. I had initially been scared of the night owls and crickets, but not anymore. The backyard needs some work. I’ve been meaning to work on it, but never found the time to do so. The whole place was already eerie as it was.
We trudge on until we arrive at his favourite spot.
“What is this?” she asks.
I look at her, and I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever get her back.
“Honey, he doesn’t like to stay in his room. This is where he sleeps now.”
“Are you crazy?” The question sounds logical. I would have asked the same. “This is a graveyard.”