Chase let out a sigh as he kicked the blankets that covered him off, slipping out of bed quietly and out of the room. He closes the door ever so slightly, before tip toeing down the stairs.
He walks into the kitchen, opening the fridge and pouring himself a glass of milk. Sipping on it, he leans back against the fridge shaking his head.
Why was he back here again?
He thought he had left nightmares and these sleepless nights behind a long time ago. He had found ways to combat them to the side, avoid having them whether through falling asleep with a happy thought, cuddles, or some other strategy for the time. Though against everything, there he stood in the kitchen with the familiar glass of milk.
Continuing to sip on it, he knew it’d help him calm down enough so he could go back up the stairs, lay down and fall asleep without another thought. For now, it was a good clenser to forget what he was thinking.
“I thought I heard someone up,” he hears and looks up from his glass at his mom. It figured that she’d catch him up, as she used to always catch him anyway. “Can’t sleep?” He shakes his head no.
“Nightmares, again,” he tells her, rather than trying to hide it as he had done plenty of other times. He was learning slowly that it was easier to talk about it rather than hold it in.
“Baby…” He then takes another sip, before sitting the glass in sink.
“Listen, go back to bed with dad. I’m fine. I just need a couple minutes and then I can go back up and go to sleep easily.” She then looks at him with a glance of surprise as he turns to face her. “Mom, I’m serio-”
“And I know what you’re like with these, remember? Or have you forgotten the nights I held you on the couch here? Or in the hospital? Or caught you here and talked with you?” He then lets out a sigh as he glances away from her. So much for being totally honest and saying everything.
“I’d rather not discuss everything no-”
“The only way to deal with it is by talking about it, and you know that.” She then walks over to him. “Listen, I know it’s hard and it’s easier to avoid – but how does that help you? I thought we were in agreement that you were dealing with this slowly.” He shakes his head, remembering those words he spoke earlier in the evening.
“I’ve been having these once and a while, not in a strict pattern or that often. However, they pop up here and there. I get up, find a way to calm myself back down, and I can get back to sleep no problem. It’s just part of the healing process, Mom. I can handle it.” He then goes to walk by her and head back upstairs, though she puts his arm out to stop him.
“What are they about, Chase?” He then looks at her, wishing they weren’t having this discussion.
“Mostly about what happened with Randy and Kassandra, to be honest. I keep re-envisioning what happened there.” He then glances down, wishing the pictures weren’t in his mind as he’d do anything to forget. “I’ve scared the crap out of myself in thinking that Randy’s electrocution plan killed Alyssa, and I’ve scared the crap out of my own fears in Kassandra fully going through with the anything offer. What if that had happened?” Cindy crosses her arms as she lets her guard down on him a little, seeing they’re getting somewhere.
“What have we said about ‘what if’?” Chase lets out a sigh, having heard that answer from too many people to count.
“Mom, I know what we’ve said and it doesn’t bother me as much outside of my sleeping. It’s just convincing my sleeping conscious that it didn’t happen and to be thankful things worked out as they did. That’ll take time, though.” Cindy shakes her head, understanding that. It didn’t make her feel better about things.
“I just hate that you have to go through this…” He reaches out and puts his hand on her shoulder.
“I hate it too, but it’s life – it happened, and now I have to deal with it. I’m a big boy. I can handle it, Mom. You don’t need to worry about me. Just focus on getting yourself some sleep tonight, okay?” He then gives her a kiss on the cheek before making his way back up the stairs.
He quietly makes his way back into the room, climbing back under the blanket as he wraps his arm around Alyssa once again. He kisses her shoulder, before letting out a sigh and closing his eyes.
He just had to remember that she was here with him always and things had worked out. He had to remind himself to not picture the thought of being without her – as he didn’t know what he’d do if that happened.
After clearing out his mind of the thoughts – thinking of positives in their future together, along with some fun moments between them through the years, he closes his eyes and goes back to sleep with ease.