The Hand

Carol and me were always best friends. Yesterday she invited me to her place, so we could play and stay for a sleepover. Truth be told, I wasn’t quite sure if I should accept her invitation, because even though I’m already 8 years old, I’ve never loved the idea of sleeping in someone else’s house. “Don’t worry”, she told me, “everything will be fine”. I agreed and went with her after school. We played the whole afternoon, we had dinner and her mother let us watch a movie before sleep. When it was bedtime, I noticed there was a problem.

Carol’s room has two beds (hers and her sister’s, who is out of town) separated by a space that contains a little table. But on top of that table, there’s no lamp to turn on during the night.

I tried to be strong and don’t say anything so she wouldn’t think I was a baby, but when we were in bed and Carol’s mom turned the lights off, I couldn’t help to be scared.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I never told you, but I’m really afraid of darkness”, I answered.

“There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s pretty common. I have an idea: stretch out your hand and grab mine. That way, we won’t be afraid”.

It seemed like a good plan, so I did as she said. When I finally felt her hand grasping mine, my fear was gone and I was able to sleep.

This morning, I woke up grabbing my pillow, and I thanked Carol for giving me the courage to stay. I noticed she was asleep as well, and said “Thank you”.

“It was nothing, all I had to do was this…” and she stretched out her hand. But when I tried to do the same, we found out that no matter how hard we tried, we would never be able to grab each other’s hand.