The baby’s cries echoed through the empty house. No soft furnishings to muffle the ear piercing sound. Everything was still in boxes.
Peter had been called away on business.
“But we’ve just moved in,” I told him. “Can’t we at least spend the first night together?”
“You know I have to go, honey,” he said. “It’s because of these nights away, we’ve been able to afford this house in the first place.”
I would exchange this big old house in the middle of nowhere for time spent with my family anywhere, I thought. But I didn’t tell him.
“I’m coming. I’m coming,” I called out, wrapping my dressing gown around me. I glanced at the clock. Three a.m.
Walking across the large open hallway, I watched the shadows of the trees dancing across the walls in the moonlight.
“I’m coming, darling,”
I reached down and turned the handle. The crying stopped.
I opened the door to see my little cherub kicking his feet and looking around the room wide eyed.
“Oh, darling,” I said, lifting him out of his cot. “What’s the matter?”
Rocking him gently against my chest, I walked around the room, hushing him back to sleep.
“There you go,” I whispered, as I lay him back down and covered him up.
I closed the door as softly as I could, before quietly making my way back to bed.
Just as my head touched the pillow, his cries stung the air once again.
“You’ve been fed,” I said, throwing the covers back. “And you can’t be too cold.”
I pulled on my gown and swept across the hall. “Or too hot for that matter.”
I grabbed the handle and flung open the door. “So what could possibly be—“
The crying had stopped. And there he lay once again, kicking his legs and staring around the room.
“Do you miss me, honey?” I said, lifting him out. “Is that what it is?”
He looked at me with his big, sparkling eyes and smiled his gummy smile.
“Come on,” I said. “Let’s sleep in Mummy’s room.” I pulled his door closed and took him off to sleep with me.
He fell asleep instantly, and I wasn’t long behind him.
I awoke once more. My heart pounding in my chest. The air too thick to breathe. I looked at my son. He was still fast asleep. I began to tremble. The cries were coming from his room again.