I was torn from my sleep by the sound of my daughter’s screams. I rushed across the hall and saw Jessie standing in front of her bedroom window. When I wrapped my arms around her, I noticed her pajamas were soaked with sweat. The screams tapered off and gasping sobs replaced them; her tiny body heaving as it attempted to take in more air than her lungs would allow.
I picked her up and carried her into my room. We sat on the bed and I held her until she’d calmed enough for me to ask what happened. She shook her head. Hot tears spilled down her cheeks.
“Please, sweetheart – I promise it’s okay. What happened?”
Jessie’s wide, blue eyes stared into mine, still leaking away the memory of whatever trauma she’d endured. She pulled my nightgown, beckoning me to come down to her level so she could whisper something in my ear. I obliged.
“There was a big girl in my window making faces at me.”