A loud noise waked me up. I sat up in the bed Sammy had me laying down in. I knew Sammy was mad now. I didn’t want to go to sleep, but I was tired. My eyes didn’t want to stay open. Deanie was there, and Sammy was saying something to him I didn’t quite understand. Dean walked over to me and scratched underneath my chin.
“Yeah, you’re not crying, are you, sweetheart?”
They kept talking, and I kept waiting. Waiting on Sammy to come back over and pick me up so I could go back to sleep again. If I tried to go to sleep and Sammy wasn’t holding me, I didn’t feel safe. They kept talking, and I was just about to start crying again to make Sammy pick me up. Deanie was looking down at me.
“We’ll have a good night, won’t we, kiddo?”
We? We’ll have a good night? Me and Deanie, without Sammy? No. That wouldn’t work. Deanie wasn’t Sammy. He was fun enough in the daytime, but I needed Sammy to keep me safe at night. I stuck my lip out, in the way that always got Sammy to pick me up when I wanted him to. Sammy did, and I cuddled up real close to him. He took me out of the room and down to Daddy and uncle Baby, and talked to them a little. I started to get excited, thinking maybe we were going to play a little more before I had to go to sleep. But then Sammy did something really scary. He hugged me and said,
“Good night, Cricket. Sammy loves you.”
Deanie took me from Sam, and I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. “Come on, kiddo. Let’s go.”
I decided that maybe it would be okay. Deanie could hold me too. He would keep me safe just like Sammy would. He sat me down in my bed, and I waited. And waited. And waited. But Deanie didn’t do it. And I wasn’t happy. Not one bit. Finally, I couldn’t wait iany more, and I started to whine. Deanie walked over and looked down at me again.
“What’s wrong, kiddo? Come on. You want to sleep with me?”
Finally. He picked me up so I stopped whining. He laid down and put me up close to his chest, just like Sammy did when I couldn’t sleep. I waited again, this time for my music. My music helped me fall asleep. But Deanie didn’t start singing, so I didn’t cry just a little this time. I cried as hard and as loud as I could. If I couldn’t sleep, I wouldn’t let Deanie sleep either. I heard Deanie say something, but I was screaming, so I couldn’t hear it. I cried for what felt like forever, but Deanie just wasn’t my Sammy. He wouldn’t sing to me, and I couldn’t sleep without my song.
“Kiddo, please! I’m begging you, stop crying!”
No. I wouldn’t stop crying. Not without my song. My song and my Sammy.
The sun started coming up, and I was still screaming, and Sammy wasn’t coming. I was scared. Was he gone for good? Why wasn’t he coming? He’d never left me at night before. That made me cry even more. But I had cried so long it was hard to keep going, so I just kept whining. Finally, after what felt like forever, Deanie took me to the kitchen, where I could hear Sammy talking. I stopped whining, and waited on him to get me.
“Alright. Give her here.”
Sammy took me, and I was happy now. He started scratching my back, and I felt better. More safe. He rocked me like he always did, and finally started singing my song.
“Don’t you feel it growin’, day by day…”
I held my eyes open as long as I could. I could sleep now. Everything was okay. It was safe. Sammy was right there, and he’d be right there when I woke up. By the time my song was over, I was almost all the way asleep, and I felt Sammy lay me down. It was okay this time. I felt him lean over and kiss me and say,
“Good night, Cricket.” Now it would be.