Thursday, January 4, 2018

Even so, it takes me by surprise

I cross to the window, which is the moment I begin hearing the sound. On the surface it seems to blend with the howling of the wind, and the scraping of bare branches across the edge of the roof—except it isn’t coming from outside, and it’s just a whimper at first. 
Even so, it takes me by surprise, ‘cause Lenny don’t dream—or so he says. And for sure, he don’t never talk in his sleep, ‘cause no matter if it’s day or night, his jaw is set firm, and them muscles, they’re always tight around his lips, which looks funny with his eyes closed, but also a bit stern. 
Anyhow you can see, just by looking, that at this moment he isn’t hardly his usual self. So I rush to his side—but can’t get nothing, not a word of what he mumbles, because now that he’s in the grip of some fear, he don’t barely make sense. 
It takes my breath away to look at Lenny, ‘cause he feels awful helpless, like a baby, almost. After a while he starts whining—not from his throat but from an inner place, deep down in his guts. From there he wails, wrapped up in his nightmare, as if he’s about to be cut away, like, lose the one dear to him.
Me, I reckon it’s something you might expect, like, when you’re expecting: my heart pounds with great worry inside me, so much so that it hurts, even, like I’m already a mama—and not only to my little one. 
So the fact that Lenny, he’s like, twice my age, flies clear out of my head. I cuddle him, real gentle, and feel his big body trembling here, in my arms. And I rock him back and forth, back and forth, like he’s a child, and I try to calm him down, whispering, “Sh... Sh...” And I hug him, even tighter now, ‘cause he’s shaking like a leaf. “What is it, Lenny?”
By now his voice is so intense. It’s rising, rising to a shriek, “Taaah! Taaah—”
Which is when I figure, like, he’s trying to call someone, call her back, real urgent, to make her stop just there—just before she reaches the rift, the edge of what he sees in his dream—so he don’t end up losing her. 
So I murmur, close to his ear, “Here I am... All’s fine, I promise. I’m here, by your side, my dear, dear Lenny. Don’t you worry.” 
And again he calls, only softer this time, “Taaah...”

I let his head lean on me, on my bare shoulder, and at once the chill’s gone, both inside and out, because I kiss him—so long and so tender—right here, in the middle of his forehead. And I hope I can take on his burden, that burden of guilt, and of pain too, because in the end I don’t really mind, I don’t care no more if the name he’s calling is mine—or else, if it is Natasha.

Anita in My Own Voice


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"Uvi Poznansky's, My Own Voice, is a creative, gripping and deeply moving tale of a young girl coming of age in unfathomable emotional circumstances." 
Bill Cronin, Author

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