Free Falling in SoCal

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…   

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