A nightmare wakes me, and I sit up on my mattress. By the hallway light I see a man sitting on the sofa, looking at me. I’m not surprised; it’s not the first time. Mum has lots of men visiting, but always says I’m her best man.
This one looks different; behind his beard, he looks kind. Somehow familiar. Not drunk.
“Shhhh,” he says. “Just a bad dream. I promise. Everything will be okay, kiddo.”
“How do you know?” I’m still groggy and discombobulated.
“I’ve been there.”
Suddenly, I understand. I hug him. “Thank you for coming back to tell me.”