The Bottom Bunk

Luca reached her arms towards me like she does each night. She’s our oldest child but the only one who will not go down unless mom and dad tuck her into bed each evening.

Just a few feet below Luca on the bottom bunk was Anna. She doesn’t have the same bedtime demands. In fact, I wouldn’t have known she was there had I not kneeled down next to her.

I noticed her body faced the wall. Arms at her side. Not a “goodnight” to be heard.

Was she still awake? Was she so tired she jumped in bed on her own? Did she want to be left alone?

Kim sat on the hallway floor reading a book aloud. That way both the girls and Lincoln could hear the story. I decided to lay down next to Anna.

I put my head on the same pillow. Although we had little light, it only took a few seconds of looking into her eyes that I could tell something was wrong.

Could it have been the time at church today when I asked her to sit at the end of the bench? Was it the time Lincoln and Luca yelled at her because she wasn’t able to save them in a game of Super Mario Brothers? Did she feel left out of the conversation on tonight’s drive around town?

I don’t know the reason. But my instincts tell me something is not right with my daughter.

I couldn’t think of what say. I’ve learned that it’s best to keep quiet during these times instead of forcing meaningless small talk.

I brushed the hair out of Anna’s eyes and tickled her back. Still no reaction. At least she knows I’m here, I told myself.

As I was about to kiss her goodnight, Lincoln yelled out, “I have a wedgie!” to which mom replied, “Well, I’m not getting it out”.

Anna giggled for a bit before returning her head to the same spot on the pillow.

Yes, at least she knows I’m here.

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