“Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop,” my mother sings. “When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.” I slowly open my eyes as my mother’s voice fills the room. “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall.” I see my mother sitting in a rocking chair at the end of my bed. “And down will come baby, cradle and all.” She continues to hum the lullaby as she rocks back and forth.
I look around the room and notice it’s my room. I’m in my bed, in my room. I expect the gray curtains to be pulled shut, but they are open. And the sun is shining. There is no candle flickering in the corner. There are no shadows dancing on the walls. There are no weird sounds coming from the walls. The only sound I hear is the humming coming from my mom. I look back over to her and smile to myself. She seems happy. I’ve never seen her this happy. She’s always worried about something, usually Simon, but in this moment she seems content.
“Mom?” I ask.
She looks over to me and stops humming. A smile spreads across her face with joy. “Sybil! You’re awake!”
“Yeah… How long have you been there?”
“What do you mean? I always sit here and sing while you’re asleep.”
“How long have I been asleep?”
“Longer than usual, actually. It’s nearly noon,” she chuckles.
Noon? I look around the room again, realizing something’s missing. “Mom?”
“Who?” she seems confused.
“Simon? My brother?” I emphasize.
My mother looks at me with concern. “Sybil, are you feeling alright?”
“Yeah, I feel fine. Why?”
“Because, sweetie, you don’t have a brother.”