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Lindsey Hale

She wouldn’t fall asleep. No matter how many warm glasses of milk I gave her or songs I sang, she simply would not sleep. She cradled her teddy bear to her chest, watching me with large unblinking eyes. I sighed and stood from my spot at the foot of the bed. “I have an important meeting tomorrow morning that I need to finish preparing for. I’ll check on you again in an hour or so. Try to sleep.” “Wait!” she called after me. I stopped and turned back around, leaning against the doorway. “Can’t you stay?” she asked. “Just for a few more minutes?” “It’s late. I’m tired.” “Please?” She hugged her bear tighter to her chest. “I don’t like the dark.” “That’s what the nightlights are for,” I told her impatiently. “Just five more minutes?” “Goodnight,” I told her. She frowned but didn’t protest further as I pulled the door closed behind me. “They’re using thinner bandages now, have you noticed?” I ask. “That’s promising. And the swelling’s gone down tremendously. She looks much better than she did a few days ago. You can hardly tell she’s been in a wreck.” My husband places a hand on my shoulder. “Still almost no brain activity,” he says softly. “Well, no. Not yet. But give it a few more days, you’ll see.” He’s watching me, I know it, but I ignore him, instead focusing on our daughter. Her chest slowly rises and falls. The bandages will be gone soon, and the stitches won’t be far behind. She’ll wake up any day now. “It’s late,” my husband says gently. “Let’s go home.” “Alright,” I say. “Just five more minutes.”
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