A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

…or “Forgotten Bar Crawl”

My mother-in-law and I are planning some huge charity ball or otherwise complex and fancy function. I’m not sure where my husband is through all this, probably just working. Since everyone will be so busy, I send my son to stay with my parents, and when everything is done my mother will fly back with him. They’re supposed to arrive on the day of the event, so my son can see all the fancy things and also be seen (because he is of course the cutest little boy ever).

During this time I wake once covered in blood, it’s a good thing though since it was my entire menstrual cycle all in one night so I don’t have to go through the annoying cramps.

It’s the big day! I’m going around and getting last minute things done and watching for my mom to arrive with my son. At one point I take a break and sit off in some obscured corner and there she is! She doesn’t have my son, but I assume she just ran into my mother-in-law first who took him. We make some small talk for a while before I ask after him.

My mother starts this story about going to my sister’s house to pick up my son and about both of my sisters being there but asleep. At first I think she’s going to tell me she left him there instead of waking up, I’m getting pretty annoyed and simultaneously trying to calm down while getting ready to tell her off about it. But it’s not the story I’m expecting.

“I did wake her up,” she explains, already sensing my upset. “She didn’t know where he was.”

In all the previous dreams I can currently think of, never have I had the desire and the ability to scream. Now I did.

To imagine my son forgotten and “lost” as casually as a toy or borrowed sweater. Anger and fear drove me to the brink of insanity, as far as I can tell, while I screamed longer than lungs would allow. Every one in four person hears my scream, and even then not everyone reacts to it. Those who do either leave, disgusted at my display, so take pictures to put online. I take a few steps and I’m there, another state, another city, at my sister’s front door. I take a few more steps, her doors are all gone and I stand before her as she sleeps. No, she’s not asleep, she’s sitting on the couch and I see myself screaming at her. She’s in the kitchen making tea while I sob on the floor. She’s showering for her day and doesn’t know I’m there. All these things happen together until everything shudders and returns to the couch.

“Where. Is. He.”

She doesn’t know. They all went out to a bar – her, my youngest sister, and my son, just a toddler! Everyone there loved him (of course) and they all were having a good time. My sisters were having drinks, dancing, and didn’t realize they left one bar for another and then another before remembering they were supposed to be taking care of my son. They retraced their steps, but no one knew where he was.

Now I will have to fight with child services to get my child back. The reports of the people that night are all confused and twisted. Some people say I was there, others say not. It seems no one can tell me and my sisters apart so I am to be blamed for him being left at the bar. I may never see him again.

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