It’s late, but she’s awake – an hour past her own bedtime. Despite this, she continues to watch the child sleep, so peaceful for the first time in a long time. His breathing is shallow and even, and his mouth is slightly open as if he’s in still awe of everything that happened yesterday, even in his dreams.
She can tell he’s not dreaming tonight; no nightmares to make him toss around in bed until he wakes up and crawls into hers, and no dreams either to give him so much hope that it leaks out the corners of his eyes. It’s like his subconscious is finally satisfied, and she smiles.
It’s strange. Here is a son, a son that doesn’t belong to her anymore, and she thought it would be more difficult to love him now because he isn’t hers. Perhaps it’s because of the fact that she’s loved him from the moment she knew he existed, but now that his life has been saved by someone else, it doesn’t belong to her anymore.
Now that she thinks about it, perhaps he didn’t belong to her in the first place, and in actual fact it’s the ache in her heart that’s keeping her up tonight.
She pats his head softly, and lets him go.