I’m lying on my side, curled into a comma. My eyes are squeezed shut, the blanket is over my ear.
I should probably get up. It would be the brave thing to do.
I should get up, go downstairs, and find out what that thunk was.
That would the grown-up approach.
Then I could laugh at the knickknack, picture frame, heavy book that caused me all the distress. I could post it on Instagram, on Twitter. I could get sympathy from all my friends who live alone and who have been terror-struck by a fallen object in the dark. I can picture the likes, the hearts, the long string of comments saying ‘Same.’ The idea gives me courage.
I slow my breathing and uncurl under the blankets. I toss them off and swing my legs over the side of the bed.
I’m an adult, a very capable adult, and I can take care of myself.
I roll my shoulders back. I shift into standing.
I grab my phone from my dresser, flick on the the flashlight. Overhead lights will wake me completely, I don’t want that.
My first step shoots a creaking noise across the floorboards into the hall. I imagine them cracking, like the ice on a pond, disaster imminent.
I hear the voice from downstairs.
He just says, “Oh.”