What the Dark Can't Hide

My best friend was not the little girl across the street with the pretty blonde pigtails and shiny blue eyes.

It wasn't the boy next door with soft-looking brown hair and the warm smile that seemed almost contagious, like a disease.

My best friend was the dark.

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1. Routine

With an absent mind, my fingers roamed my bedsheets like a soldier at war. They dived and hid for cover, they soared through the air as they dodged non-existent bullets and they trudged through the battlefield with a heavy heart. My eyes followed their every movement, entranced by the scene playing before them. 

I felt it before I saw it. The bed dipped and my eyes shifted to the cloud-like figure that sat atop my sheets. A wicked grin spread across my lips as I sat up as fast as I could, awaiting my usual greeting. It felt like the wind brushed against my cheek, but it was just it's soft caress. 

"I missed you." I whisper, hoping that the volume won't scare it away. With a nod, it vanishes off the bed, making me frantic. I try to find it, my eyes searching wildly for it as fear rose within me. Did it really leave? 

A cold sweat threatened to cover me; it already started to form on my brow and the back of my neck. Tears threatened to fall in my desperate attempt to find it as I prayed to whatever god, all the gods, that it didn't really leave me. 

I missed you too.

The smoke rose out of the air, nearly scaring me half to death, but as it formed the words, the tears turned into relief and a deep sigh left me. My lips twitched into a small smile. I was pleased. It missed me as well. I reached out to touch it. My fingers barely brushed against the dark smoke before it disappeared.

Before I could begin freaking out, I felt the bed dip and excitedly turned to face it. It's eyes glistened with delight as it stared back; and so began our routine. 

I lay back down on my bed, hands comfortable by my sides, palms facing up as I stared at the ceiling. My eyes fluttered to a close as I felt it flit next to me and in a soft whisper, I recounted my day. 

"Mommy and daddy were talking about me again. They do it everyday, but today was different. They said I was getting better. Does that mean I'm sick?" I asked. A soft breeze brushed against my arm as it traced it's reply on my skin. 

No.

My brows furrowed in confusion and I wanted so badly to open my eyes, look into it's eyes and ask all the questions that plagued my mind, but I knew that if I did, that it would just disappear. So, I stayed still and allowed it to only speak to me through it's gentle dance across my skin. 

Tell me more.

"Daddy went away again. Mommy never tells me where he goes. Just that he'll be back very soon. Is something wrong with mommy and daddy? They didn't sound very happy." The question was much more subtle than what I had wanted to say. It left my lips on it's own accord and I could do nothing to stop it. I awaited it's answer. 

There was none. I opened my eyes and it was gone. As was our routine. When I asked a question it didn't want to answer, it left. Alas, I was alone, albeit unhappily so. 

I pulled my blanket over me and snuggled into my sheets. Tomorrow was a new day, as much as I hated it. I couldn't wait until tomorrow night. I'll miss it until then, I suppose. 

 

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