August 2013. I can’t sleep.
Auntie’s bed is comfortable and the room feels protective, except there is no door to hide behind in case mom touches me.
Two cloth-covered screens act as dividers, separating the office I sleep in from the living room where Auntie sleeps. Salty ocean air fills the room. I can tell Auntie is anxious. I may be wrong, but my intuition is usually correct or close.
I feel like I should not be falling apart in somebody else’s space like this. Like a runaway train flying off the tracks, it happens in slow motion. I can see myself coming apart; I can feel Auntie’s presence keeping my mom away from me.
Still, I think my mom is sneaky and when she gets mad, she gets mad. I hug my pillow and try to slow my racing heart…