Diana, There are Monsters in the House

Night falls.

Diana sits on the couch. She watches TV. She throws a piece of popcorn in her mouth and chews it slowly. She looks happy, relaxed, and content. She looks vulnerable.

I hear a loud sound in another part of the house.

Diana jumps, and I know that she heard it too.

“What if it’s a monster?” I ask.

Diana looks back at the TV. “Maybe it is,” she says, “and maybe it isn’t.”

“But what,” I ask, “if it is?”

“It never is,” she says.

Diana tries to watch the TV, but I can tell that she is distracted. She is thinking about it too.

“What if this is that one time,” I ask, “that it’s really a monster?”

I have to convince Diana. I am sure that there is a monster, and I have to protect her from the monster. If I can’t convince her to heed my warnings, I will feel like it’s my fault when the monster gets her.

I haven’t always been able to protect Diana. I have failed her sometimes. I have failed to warn her about real danger. That is why I can never fail her again.

Diana doesn’t get up, but she starts to fidget in her seat. She squirms around. She can’t sit still.

I can tell that Diana is thinking about it, so I push her over the edge.

“Let’s just make sure,” I whine.

“Okay,” Diana says. “I’ll just do this for you, and then I can go back to watching my show.”

I don’t agree to that.

Diana gets off of the couch. She walks around the house. She opens doors and cabinets. She looks everywhere. She doesn’t find any monsters.

She goes back to the couch. She sits down. She starts to watch her show again.

“What if you didn’t look closely enough?” I ask. “What if the monster was right in front of your eyes, and you just didn’t see it? What if…”

Diana stares at the TV.

I talk over her show. I talk louder. I talk the whole time. I have to convince her. I need to make her listen.

Diana ignores me, but she doesn’t absorb any of her show either. She turns it off early and goes to bed.

“What if the monster is still in the house?” I ask. “What if it gets you in your sleep?”

Diana lays awake in bed.

I continue to try to convince her to go and to find the monster. I tell her there is a monster in the house. “What if it gets you in your sleep?” I ask. “What if you never wake up?”

Diana doesn’t put in ear plugs. But still, she finds a way to tune me out or to sleep through my chatter. She falls asleep.

I am livid. I wasn’t able to protect Diana. I growl in anguish and then go silent. Even I can’t see the point in trying to convince her while she is asleep.

But I was wrong about the monsters.

Diana wakes in the morning.

I might have been wrong about the monsters getting her in her sleep. But I’m sure the monsters are still in the house, and I need to protect her from them.

But will she listen to me?

I keep my mouth shut for now. I’ll wait. I know the monsters will reveal their presence eventually. The next time we hear a sound in the house, I’ll speak up again. This time, I’ll really convince her that there are monsters in the house.

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