She turned to her left. And then her right. She could hear dripping. She just knew a tap was broken. What if all the water in the house drained out? What if she had no more water? How would she bathe and get to work? Drip. Drip.
She got up and opened the bathroom door. No sound. She switched on the light and ran her hand under the taps. Nothing. Switching off all the lights, she went back to bed.
A door creaked in the house. She’d forgotten to fix it. “I can’t get up to oil doors at 2 am,” she thought. Creak. Creak. “Fine, I’ll just do that so I can get to sleep.” She got up, hunted for the WD 40. And sprayed all the doors in the house. She turned off all the lights and got back into bed.
A dog barked in the quiet of the night. She realised she’d forgotten to add dog food to the grocery list. “This is ridiculous. I can’t keep getting up again and again. I mean, I’ve got to drive to work and back and to the doctor’s and back. Oh God, I forgot to confirm the appointment with the doctor. What if its cancelled? I better make a list of things I need to do tomorrow. And add dog food. NO. NO. I’m going to concentrate on sleeping. I’m not getting up again. I’m not. I’m not.”
She turned on her back and crossed her arms. The dog in the distance howled. The sound was full of pain. “It must be hungry. Why would it cry out like that otherwise? I didn’t add dog food to the list. What if our dog starts to howl like that? What if our dog dies from hunger?”
She felt something running down her cheeks and clapped a hand to her face immediately. Bugs? “I need to add bug repellent to the grocery list as well.” She realised her face was wet. “Am I crying? Maybe I should just get up and add this stuff to the grocery list. I’m just getting stressed for no reason.”
She got up again and padded into the living room. She turned on the light and started to hunt for the notepad in which she’d written the grocery list.
“What are you doing baby?” said her mother from behind her.
She turned. “Ma. Sorry I woke you. I’m hunting for the grocery list. I just…I can’t explain it, I just know that our dog is going to starve if I don’t add dog food to the list. I’ll just do that and we can go back to bed.”
Her mother came up to her and put a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetie. We don’t have a dog.”
The girl stood still. “We don’t?”
The mother shook her head.
The girl said, “Are you sure?”
The mother nodded. She took the girl’s hand to lead her back to bed.