Too much Harry Potter, I suppose. Liv and I are slowly slogging through the last HP book. It has been slow going because we only have time to read at night and she has been conking out after just a page or two. Third grade is a bitch, I think. She is all tuckered out after a day of school.
We are about three fourths of the way through, but as anyone who has read this book knows, it gets pretty intense from about the middle on.
So, we finished the part where Snape meets his destiny with Nagini and it must have been on my mind as I fell asleep.
The last thing I remember was laying my head down and snuggling down into my soft pillow. Bing was staying up to watch the news. I was just too beat.
And then I opened my eyes and there it was! A dementor bending over me. It was just inches from my face and I could feel it's freezing cold stench trying to suck out my breath.
I did what any normal person would do. I sat up in bed and screamed bloody murder.
I could not stop screaming. I just screamed and screamed and screamed.
And suddenly Bing was there, bounding into the bedroom, turning on the overhead bright light and running to me.
"WHAT?? What's the matter? Why are you screaming? Are you okay?"
I grabbed her hands, yanking her down next to me.
"It was a dementor! There was a dementor in the room with me! He was trying to suck out my soul, I know it!!
Bing, to her credit, did not start laughing. She simply held me while I shuddered and shivered and finally got some sense of control. I was blathering like an idiot, kept saying things like, "He was here! I swear it!"
I have had nightmares, but this felt almost unbelievably real. I honestly felt like I had just shut my eyes for a second and then opened them to find a dementor standing there. Bing stroked my hair and tried to get up to get me a glass of water but I held on to her like a child. I was terrified, afraid to let her go for one second.
So, she sat back down and just rubbed my back and kept talking softly and clearly.
"Sweetheart, you had a bad dream..."
"NO! I did not have a bad dream. It was REAL, Bing. I know it!"
After a few moments, I managed to calm down enough to know that yes, it had been a dream. Dementors were not real. I knew this. But...god...I found it so hard to believe that it wasn't real. It felt very, very real to me.
I let Bing go into the adjoining bathroom to get me some water. I told her to run the cold water for a long time. I wanted it very, very cold.
I heard a sob and looked over to find Liv standing in the doorframe, hunched in her blue flannel nightgown with the cows jumping over moons on it. She was crying.
Well, THAT made me come firmly back to my senses. I held my arms out to her. She came flying into them. I pulled the covers over us both.
"I had a bad dream," I told her. "I must have cried out, I'm so sorry that I frightened you, honey."
Her voice was whispery. "You were screaming," she said. "I've never heard you scream like that. You were SCREAMING," she repeated.
"I know," I said to her, nuzzling her cheek and kissing her face. "I had a terrible nightmare. I can't remember the last time I had such a terrible one."
Bing showed up with two glasses of water, one for me and one for Liv. We both sat up and drank thirstily.
Liv wanted to know what I dreamed about and I sort of reluctantly told her. I didn't want to scare her any more than I already had. But, I think it was a good decision. She looked at me with wide eyes.
"I would have screamed too," she said.
We all sat in the bed for awhile talking about how sometimes dreams can seem very real and how nice it was to wake up from them.
Liv offered to sit with me until I fell back asleep and I told her no, that what I really wanted to do was take her back to bed and sit in the rocker and watch her go back to sleep, so that is what we did. Bing and I tucked her back into her flannel zippy monkey sheets and I sat in the rocker and Bing at the foot of her bed until she fell back to sleep.
And then, arms around each other, we shut off the rest of the house lights and started back to our bedroom. I noticed she was limping and asked her what was up.
She sat on the bed and showed me her big toe, badly bruised and swelling.
"What the hell did you do?" I asked her.
Well, I was sitting in the lazy boy watching an old movie and good hell, you suddenly started caterwauling and screaming. I thought a burglar was climbing through the window or something. I was running to you and accidentally ran into the end table and I guess I must have hit my toe harder than I thought. I was so scared, I barely felt it...
"Did I scream that loudly?" I asked.
Jesus Christ, honey...I have NEVER heard you scream like that in my life. I mean, think about it. You woke up Liv and she is in the back bedroom...."
We shut off the lights and settled into our go-to-sleep positions, me on my right side and Bing curled around me like a comma, her hand resting lightly on my hip. During the night we would shift around until we were butt to butt.
It took me a long time to drift back to sleep. I mean...I kept coming back to that feeling. That feeling that it was real, that dementors were real and one was after me.
I sorely wished for a wand and wondered what my patronus is. Because I just might need that sucker.....