Prologue Mommy! Mommy! Mommy is asleep on the floor. She has been asleep for a long time. I brush her hair because she likes that. She doesn’t wake up Mommy! My tummy hurts. It is hungry. He isn’t here. In the kitchen I pull a chair to the sink and I have a drink. The water splashes over my blue sweater. Mommy is still asleep. Mommy wake up! She lies still. She is cold. I fetch my blankie and I cover Mommy and I lie down on the sticky green rug beside her. The door crashes open. I cover Mommy with my blankie . He’s here Fuck. What the f**k happened here? Oh the crazy f**ked up bitch. Shit. Fuck Get out of my way, you little shit. He kicks me and I hit my head on the floor. My head hurts. He calls somebody and he goes. He locks the door. The lady policeman is here. No. No. No. Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. I stay by Mommy. No. Stay away from me. The lady policeman has my blankie and she grabs me. I scream. Mommy! Mommy! I want my Mommy. The words are gone. I can’t say the words. “Christian! Christian!” Her voice is urgent, pulling him from the depths of his nightmare, the depths of his despair. “I’m here. I’m here.” He wakes and she’s leaning over him, grasping his shoulders, shaking him, her face etched with anguish, blue eyes wide and brimming with tears. “Ana,” His voice is a breathless whisper, the taste of fear tarnishing his mouth.”You’re here.””Of course I’m here.””I had a dream . . .””I know. I’m here, I’m here.” “Ana.” He breathes her name and it’s a talisman against the black choking panic that courses through his body.
“Hush, I’m here.” She curls around him, her limbs cocooning him, her warmth leeching into his body, forcing back the shadows, forcing back the fear. She is sunshine, she is light . . . she is his.