A flash of lightning rent the sky outside my window, illuminating my room for a moment before dark descended once again. The weatherman forecast clear skies. Guess he was wrong again. I could hear raindrops smacking against the glass panes.

I tossed in bed, twisting the covers into knots, wondering when the phone would ring. Would the police deliver the bad news? Or would the hospital call? Or my husband? Who would tell me what I didn’t want to hear?

I cried. I couldn’t help it. My imagination took me in directions I didn’t want to go. His car hydroplaning. His car running into a tree. His car twisting around a telephone pole. No, his car in a ditch. His car with the water over the roof. Why did I let him join the millions of other teenage boys who drive?

A voice jolted me awake. “Mom, wake up." My youngest son gazed at me, a look of consternation on his face. “Were you having the dream again?”

“Yes, and I’ll keep having the dream until… I don’t dream anymore.”

He smiled, a bittersweet smile. “You know I’m extra careful.”

We both glanced toward the framed photo on my nightstand—the picture of my oldest son, the one I lost.

(c) Denise Moncrief 2011

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