There’s nothing quite like resting my head on this pillow. My eyes scan the room in the dark as a light from the street fills the space enough for me to interpret where I am. This is exactly how I remember spending nights in my childhood bedroom when all the world was asleep. This place where I grew up is now long gone, but it still houses countless memories, and I’m excited to see it exactly the way it was when I left.
To my surprise, my husband wakes up beside me. In waking life, he’s never seen this place and I couldn’t be happier to share the experience. We carry on a light conversation about our days until we’re interrupted by the sound of an animal scratching outside my bedroom window. I wonder if it is who I think it is…
My heart leaps in anticipation as I toss the covers aside and race to the back door. Still in the dark I can see there is a security alarm pad bolted to the wall. Shoot, I don’t know the pass code. My eyes well up at the thought of my long-lost companion unable to escape the cold backyard.
Just like in the old days, my mom hustles into the kitchen, flips on the lights and cheerfully greets me with a smile. “Angie! You must have heard Milo too. He’s already inside,” she consoles.
He curiously appears at my feet; my Siamese cat, a best friend that I loved and raised in my youth. It’s been nearly a decade since he passed away, but here he is now, swirling about with his tail high. He jumps onto the kitchen table so that I can get a closer look. (He never was allowed on the table when he was alive, but I’m certain that Mom doesn’t care now.)
The reunion alone is entirely too much fun to bear. We share a moment of affection as I scratch his head, smush his fluffy cheeks and rattle his ears the way I used to. I surely didn’t forget how much I love the way his eyes close when he meows, or how his purr rolls through my ears as we nuzzle our noses together.
All eyes are on Milo as my mom and I, now joined by my stepdad, shower him with attention. He jumps off the table, back to his old tricks, and begins tearing into a bag of his favorite cat food. My goodness, it’s so rejuvenating to see him – I never want to leave!