The Man in the Bedroom
From Chapter 12: Finding Unconditional Love a Little "Peace" at a Time by Jeanne Sanner
The irony about fear is that the more we focus on being safe, the more frightened we become.
I grew up in a small town and a small home. There were only two bedrooms. As we got older, my brother, Bobby, needed his own room. My folks converted the attic.
I was about five. My parents had guests who were spending the night; a cot was set up in Bobby’s room for me to sleep on while the guests used my room. It was the first night I had ever slept somewhere other than the bedroom I had always used.
The light was very different in the attic. The moonbeams came in and created strange shadows on the slanted ceiling and narrow walls, but I nestled into the clean sheets and blanket on the cot, closed my eyes, and was about to drift to sleep when something startled me.
I opened my eyes and saw a man at the end of my bed rocking back and forth! He had a hat on, and he just sat there rocking back and forth.
I froze! I stopped breathing. I did not move a muscle! I knew if I moved he would discover me. I lay there praying that the sweat dripping down my face wouldn’t make a sound; the more I tried to hold my breath, the more I needed to breathe, I was fighting not to move, not to cough, not to cry.
Then… my big toe jerked! It just jerked! I don’t know why it jerked, but my big toe on my right foot jerked. I knew without a doubt that the man at the end of my bed had seen my big toe jerk under the blanket, and now he knew I was there!
I didn’t think; I jumped out of bed, turned on the light, and swung my little body around to meet him face to face. I was looking right at “him”!
“He” was Bobby’s baseball cap hanging on the rocking chair that moved each time a car went by.
I didn’t laugh; I was too young to see the humor. I didn’t cry; I knew I was safe. I did learn a lot, though; I learned that fears are merely illusions that disappear in the light.