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Graeme S Houston

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Member Since: May, 2007

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   Recent stories by Graeme S Houston
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Twice waking up
By Graeme S Houston
Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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A child is left alone in a hotel room...

I wake up. I’m in the bed but not my bed; the bed I am in on holiday, in Spain. I’m only five. The bed is cold, it should be warm. I open my eyes and to my horror my mom and dad are gone. They were right here and I had cuddled in during the night for some comfort. I stay for a while as my mind races, desperately, wondering where they are. I wait a while and try to go back to sleep knowing they will appear soon wherever they are.

I don’t really know how long I let pass, but they are not back. I pull more sheets around me and look at the ceiling. Heat wafts in from the balcony; it’s rather warm. I kick off the sheets again. The colorful oranges bring life to the walls; the ceiling is white like the heavens of Britain. I’m only five, how could they leave me alone? Desperate panic grips me, but I smother it with playful thoughts of all the cartoons I like back home.

I clamber out of bed, and wander around the little room. I go out onto the balcony and there I watch as the fluffy clouds breeze past. I see them as shapes, as space ships or animals. They are fun but they can’t take away my pain at being separated from my parents. I stand up and look over the balcony; there all the kids are playing in the pool. They have their parents; where are mine?

I come back inside and investigate the innards of the room. The kettle, the sugar, the coffees and teas – none of which I are any use to me, I know how the kettle works but I’ve burned myself before. I decide to save the kettle for now, it’s a risky operation and I would get into trouble and they will be back any minute – won’t they be back any minute?

Tears grip me. They are salty. I am howling and I hate the feeling, but the feeling takes me violently and nothing else but that grip nature – of unfairness within what should be my sacred world takes over like it always does. I take a long time, I cry and I cry, and then I settle down. I see in the corner a box with my big drums, a drum kit bought for me. I wander over and hunker down next to that box and try desperately to open it. My little fingers are not very good at opening this well sealed thing. It seems as if I’m not meant to get my lovely drum kit, and so I throw myself back up onto my bed.

In an act of childish delight, I slide around in the bed a little. I slide until I am sprawled across two beds, and then until I fall in a little heap upon the floor. It seemed like fun but it was a painful maneuver, like all the other maneuvers I attempt when being cheeky. I climb back into the bed and I wait for the door to open. I wonder where they got to…

Every day at breakfast, my mom and dad bring me down for breakfast in the hotel’s dining room. They could only have gone there, but the rejection stings me so hard, knowing they never brought me. Why not today? Was I bad? I cry. I howl. I am so upset that they didn’t bring me. I jump on the bed, and throw a tantrum. I’m jumping and I see the phone. The phone!

I pick it up and I holler into it, crying, sobbing, please someone here me, I’m only five and I’m all alone…

Finally I just listen. There is a woman talking… she sounds upset…

“…well the doctor, he told me that even though you’re in a comma, you can still hear me, so I should talk to you for a while. I know you’re going to get better, that you’ll wake up soon. I don’t really know what’s going on in your head right now, but I love you and I want you to wake up soon. The car accident was… well I’ll not say anything about that. I’ll never leave, you, I’ll always be your wife, I’ll always be here for you to wake up to…”

I put the phone down, I don’t understand… I’m only five.

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