His habit was to pop out of bed the instant he awoke. Today it felt good to lie there, eyes closed, sun glowing through the window onto the bed.
“Know what I want to do today?”
The room was silent.
She’s still sleeping, he thought. Lazybones.
He rolled over to put his arms around her, knowing she’d open one eye, give him the grumpy face, then snuggle into his chest.
Her side of the bed was empty.
He opened his eyes.
Properly awake now, he threw himself down on her pillow.
His wounded animal cries made no difference. He’d done this every morning since he’d been able to sleep again, and it made no difference.
She was still dead.
“What makes you think she’s in trouble?”
“I knew you wouldn’t take me seriously.”
“Not saying that. I need the lay of the land before I take the case.”
“Just because I’m not old enough to drive—”
“Hey, age has no bearing on whether someone needs help.”
“Or tells the truth.”
“That, too. People of all ages lie to me. People of all ages get confused about people they love. People of all ages come in here and tell me all kinds of stories. I pepper them with questions like I’m doing right now, and if I don’t like their story, they can take it somewhere else. So like I said, age has nothing to do with it whether I’ll believe you, or take you seriously, or take the case even if I do. I still need to know what makes you think she’s in trouble.”
“She packs my lunch for school every day. Writes me notes.”
“This is not surprising.”
“Wait, I wasn’t finished. This is the note I found in my lunch today. Read it.”
“He’s going to kill me. Get help.”
Some days, I just need a cheerleader to tell me I can do anything.
Some days, I need to be told I’m heading the wrong direction.
Some days, I need someone to let me cry over nothing.
Some days, I need to know that my failure wasn’t so bad.
Some days, I need someone to laugh at my jokes.
Some days, I need someone to laugh at me, so I don’t take myself too seriously.
Most days, I need ’em all.
And every day, I get exactly what I need.
December 26th was our 10th anniversary. Here’s to 10 million more.