It was the same each night

Yet each

time was different
A trip to the bathroom
Teeth brushed and relief reached
Cupboards closed and slippers squeaked
I’d pull them off, always disappointed about the next part
Blanket up to my neck as I stared out the window
It was always open
He would enter
A smile on his face as though this wouldn’t happen again tomorrow
The usual question: are you ready for bed?
I never was
So much of life happened after my eyes closed
And I was a part of the darkness rather than defying it with the adults
A kiss on the forehead and a tuck of the duvet
My adventures were over for another day
He would switch the light off
Closing me off to the world
Just like he did yesterday
Just like he would tomorrow

But forever doesn’t last
A cup of coffee sits by my side
Netflix in front of me
Thoughts about more than the next video to rent at Blockbusters

He isn’t here
Yet I’m a part of his world
Defying the dark
The glare of the light

By Thando S., 22, Cape Town