A Strange Habit

I am five in this memory.

One cold early morning, I come out of sleep to a still dark room. Nobody is up and moving yet. Is my mother still asleep? I turn my head to the left to find her sat up wearing her red Japanese room jacket. She is looking straight ahead, completely still.

“What is she doing there?” I wonder at the curious sight, but wanting her to remain in her own world, I say nothing. Instead, I continue watching her in the darkness. All the while, she remains motionless as if an object from another world.

Just when I start worrying if something has gone wrong with her, she climbs out of the blanket and gets up. I quickly close my eyes just in time for my mother to turn back. Through my eyelids, I feel her long intent gaze. The edge of my eye twitch as I fight a smile. Of course, I want her to believe I am still asleep.

Once she finally leaves the room, my eyes pop open again. Staring at the ceiling and listening to the sound a kettle starting in the kitchen, I think back on my mother’s mysterious behaviour that I have just witnessed. Was she not bored to sit still for so long like that? She looked like she was deep in thought. What was she thinking for so long?

I cannot find answer to any of these questions. Instead, in a short while, my eyes drift close again. The next time they open, the room is bright with the morning sunlight, and there is no more magic or mystery to be found as I get up to start the new day.