by MMW

Part of The Friendship Collection

Notes: Many thanks to Phyllis for her help with this.

I know this house better than I know myself. I have walked its floors in every condition imaginable.

Long ago I lost the need for light to show me my way through the hallways and rooms. Back when a small cry from Adam was enough to shatter my world of sleep and draw me to his side, I stopped needing the lights.

I stopped needing light to show me my way when I held my son in my arms and paced the floor, calming him after a nightmare or during a fever.

I became intimate with the darkened house and all its secrets after Sarah and Adam were taken from me.

I know which floorboards creak, which to avoid to be silent and which to step on to be heard. I know how the night’s lights dance across the walls and furniture during the full moon and their absence when the moon is new. I know what it looks like when the new-fallen snow is white and as unspoiled as the clear sky above.

I know the night. The night and I are old friends.

For a while I learned to sleep through the night, slumbering in her familiar arms. But that is true no longer.

I have resumed my acquaintance with the night for a different reason now. I no longer have a son to walk, or a world to curse.

Tomorrow at the office people will notice the dark circles under my eyes, their redness from lack of sleep, but no one will say anything. They’ll chalk it up to grief over my loss or worrying over the men who have cursed my name and threatened vengeance as they are carted off to jail. They will all be wrong.

While it is true that I do still grieve the loss of my family, I do not now pace for them, and I do not pace for fear of my enemies who are too many to name. I have reacquainted myself with the night for a different reason. A reason I never would have guessed I would give or have. A reason I am thankful for with every breath I take.

Oscar Lavant said it best. The reason I once more know the night so well is, “I have no trouble with my enemies. But my goddamn friends,… they are the ones that keep me walking the floor nights.”

Maybe in a few days time I will be able to rest, after Josiah returns from his seminar, Nathan finishes his ride-along, Ezra and Vin are safely back from their loan-out work, JD finishes the research we need and Buck is out of the cast he earned showing off for a woman.

Maybe in a few days I’ll get the sleep my body so desperately craves. But for now… for now I’ll watch the dance of the moonlight on the walls of my rooms, and find the new creaky boards to avoid.