Last night I was awaken by a little girl standing next to my bed. She was clearly still asleep, swaying unsteadily, but her objective was clear: cry loudly until her Daddy agrees to following to her bedroom to sleep on the mattress on the floor next to her bed. I had been confronted by such late night terrorists in the past and knew they did not listen to reason nor respond to counter demands. I submit quickly. I followed the tiny child through the darkly lit corridor to the room where I would be held prisoner for the remainder of the night, under the close watch of the girl in the light blue pajamas.
As I lay, attempting to find comfort under the miniature Winnie the Pooh blanket, my captor spoke in a quiet voice. She spoke nonsense. Clearly English words, but strung together in random order. I have spent the day trying to find meaning in her final statement.
“I have decided to not dream tonight.” she told the ceiling. I was silent as my eyes adjusted the the soft pink glow of the room. “Instead,” said the tiny terrorist, “I will pretend to count to one, for an hour.” Then a moment later it began. “One… one… one… one…” This continued for about a minute, each new “one…” getting quieter and further apart from the last. “one…. one…….” It was not long before it was replaced with soft snoring.
At this point, I realized I was free to escape back to my own bed, but I was held back by a form of Stockholm Syndrome. I had formed a bond with my captor which persuaded me to stay, her quiet breathing coxing me back to sleep.