As a small child, I often heard noises when I was in bed and called out for my mother. She never came. I imagined there was someone on the landing and as I was too scared to get out of bed to find out who was there, I invited whoever or whatever was outside my bedroom door to come in. ‘Who’s there?,’ I would ask in a small voice and then, ‘please come in.’
As I look back, I wonder about this behaviour; what instinct did I follow, what logic did I apply that told me to invite whoever was outside my bedroom door to come in, despite being so scared.
I believe my fears diminish when I look at them under a microscope. On closer examination, they become something else and that something else is never as scary.
The following piece of writing is a small extract from a chapter of my book. In it, I do walk onto the landing and investigate the noises.
Lisa padded down the hallway towards her mother’s bedroom. She could hear the voices from behind the door, more clearly now. There was somebody else in the room with her mother. She stopped and listened; then the same groaning noise. Something hopped in her tummy, she felt hot behind her ears and her legs went wobbly. She put her hand out and pushed the door, but it was shut. She reached up for the door knob and tried to turn it. She tapped on the door and then turned the door knob again, this time with both hands. It opened. She pushed it with the flat of her hand until she was able to inch her body into the gap. She poked her head around the door and looked.
‘Get back into bed,’ her mother said in a voice Lisa didn’t recognise, ‘I’ll be in in a minute.’ Lisa backed away from the door, and hugged Panda to her chest. She leaned against the banister, bit into her lip and stared at the door. A light came on and she heard muffled voices and then a squeaking noise. She wanted to run back to bed and hide under the covers, but her feet wouldn’t move. She felt a wetness between her legs. She put her hand there to try and stop it, but it ran down her thighs and behind her knees. She crouched drown against the banister railings and made herself small.
The door opened and in the yellow light that spilled from the bedroom Lisa saw her mother’s long, thin feet walk towards her, toe nails glistening red. Lisa what are you doing?’ Her mother said, ‘I told you to go back to bed.’
‘I heard noises,’ Lisa said.
‘Don’t be silly, there aren’t any noises. Now get up,’ her mother said as she bent down blocking Lisa’s view of the doorway, ‘come on, back to bed.’