He rolled over in bed, wrapped snugly in his duvet, and looked over towards the bedroom door. Oh no. His parents must be in bed already, for the light in the hallway was off – none of the light which had been present as he had drifted off to sleep was seeping through the two-three inch gap his door was open. Pitch black. His bladder had woken him. He really needed to go to the bathroom. Really needed to go. At least he had woken – accidents at this stage would be horribly embarrassing. Still, with what little light crept into the room around his curtains, he wasn’t sure he wanted to move. Everyone knew that in the dark you couldn’t just climb out of bed. Even if you just needed a bathroom break. Especially if you just needed a bathroom break. Darkness was their cover. The only safety was the protective covering of the duvet – it was impenetrable. A fortress. But once you broke out of it, as soon as you stuck even a single toe out the bottom, that was it – Game Over. The only escape was to out-maneuver it.
His bladder really couldn’t handle waiting any longer. Although he didn’t want to get up, he definitely didn’t want to have an accident. He prepared himself mentally for the challenge ahead.
Suddenly, with no prior warning whatsoever (for that would have given it away) he flung back the duvet and leapt, yes leapt from his bed. Barely touching the ground he ran the few steps to his bedroom door, and simultaneously flung open the door with his left hand while smashing the light switch with his right to turn the light on. Light flooded his room and spilled out onto the carpet in the hall, acting like a security blanket on everything it touched.
He moved swiftly out into the hallway, confident he was safe, but chilly in the late night air. On route to the bathroom he knocked on each light along his path; both hall lights, the stairs, the downstairs hall light and finally the bathroom light. He relieved himself and repeated the routine with the lights in reverse order until he was once again standing in the mouth of his bedroom door with only his own light remaining on. Deep breath. This was it. Harder going in than getting out. They knew he was coming back. He knew they could see him, silhouetted in his doorway. He knew what was waiting in the shadows. Lurking. Patient, but confident. Speed was everything.
Again, with no warning, he thumped the light switch with his left hand while darting towards his bed. Halfway there he leapt once again, as high as he could, hoping he would make it. Hoping he hadn’t jumped too early and would fall short of his target. He landed on his bed with a thud. Mid-bounce he grabbed the top of his duvet. Jammed it up to his chin while throwing himself down flat on the bed. Only his head poked out. He shuffled the duvet up around his ears, so only his eyes stuck out with the top of his head. He breathed a sigh of relief. Made it.