I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs, my hot skin clinging to the sheets which were dampened by my sweat. Thankfully, the size of my house wouldn’t allow my mother to hear. I was starting to believe that these two stories between us were part of her intentions to never hear my cries in the night. Not that she did not care for me, but I knew this unintentional habit was just as taxing on her as it was on me.
It always took me a moment to come to, and I was always already screaming by the time my brain finally kissed reality. Forcing myself to stop, to command my lips shut was the hardest, and most terrifying part.
As I clapped both open hands over my mouth, I squeezed my eyes shut so tightly that I could see the constellations. My whole body trembled beneath my displaced skull and I exhaled through gaping nostrils, my wailing tappering off until the only sound I could hear was the blood in my ears and my heart which ceased to end its own panic.
Then my eyes flew open and I faced a vacant, yet desultory room, boxes filled with my possessions thrown and stacked haphazardly around the otherwise vapid space. I tried to read the writing in Sharpie on some of the boxes, but the room was far to dark, and my mind was still in such disarray.
With all the willpower I could gather at such time of the night, I ushered my hands away with my mind and broke the silence with the only way I could find to ease my dismay. And I began to sing.
Agus a leanbh,
Cad a Dheanfaidh me,
Ta tu ar shiul uaim,
Agus anuiridh, nil duin ar bith agam,
Agus me lion fein,
Da mbeithea go moch agam,
Agus och, och, airiu, gan thu, gan thu.”
My mouth was dry, and my muscles grew tired simply from holding my body upright. I dug my fingers into my tangled hair and tugged at my scalp. As quickly as the terror had brought me up from my sleep, my eyes rolled back as if entranced, and my slender frame fell. I was unconscious before I hit the mattress.