She sat up like a bolt. From the look on his face, she figured she must have been dead asleep. He opened his mouth to say something, but she muttered, “Bathroom” and took off quickly towards the rest room. She retched into the toilet twice, and then groaned, resting her head carefully on the cold porcelain seat. After a moment, she heard the door creak open, and she felt a wash cloth dabbing carefully at the corner of her mouth, and a hand resting gently at her forehead, checking for a temperature.
“Are you sick?” He asked softly. She blinked her eyes open, and found that he was much closer to her face than she expected.
“Not strictly speaking, no. This has happened before. I’ll be fine in a couple minutes.”
A line appeared in between his eyebrows as he looked at her with concern. “May I ask what’s wrong?”
“It’s that—this is going to sound so stupid.” She lifted her head off the seat, and took the washcloth away from him, wiping at her own face.
“Try me.” He challenged.
“I—well—I had a nightmare. I mean, I have them pretty frequently, but sometimes they get so bad that I literally make myself sick. It’s been, oh goodness, at least a couple of years since my brain has gotten me that worked up, but—“ she smiled and wiped her mouth again. “I’m just a world full of psychological fuckery.”
“When I was sixteen years old, I went and slept on the floor of my twelve year old sister’s room because I was afraid to fall asleep alone after I had a nightmare.” He smiled, “When I went away to college, she gave me one of her teddy bears to protect me from the nightmares. I think she was mostly teasing me, but I’ve still got it. In fact, it’s in my pillow case, and when I wake up in the middle of the night after a night mare, I pull it out and look like a right idiot cuddling with the thing, but there you have it, anyways.”
“Really?” She asked, smiling around the washcloth.
“Really. I’ll lend him to you if you think you’re ready to come back to bed.” He offered her his hand, and helped pull her back to her feet.
“I think I’ll take you up on that. Just–let me brush my teeth and what not. I’ll be back in a minute.” He kissed her on the temple before heading to bed. She grinned at herself in the in mirror. Her throat tasted like stomach acid. Her head hurt from the sudden awakening. Her heart was still racing from the terror her mind had decided to create. But she was so lucky to be going back to bed, to that wonderful honest man.