He's wearing a thin, teal shirt and black boxers. He walks down the landing with wide eyes and starts to head down the stairs. My stomach twists with the fear that he might slip and fall so I follow him, being careful not to wake him. I don't know what happens when you wake a sleepwalker but I've heard it's bad for some reason.
His bare feet pad along the laminate floor of the hallway and he heads into the kitchen. I follow him on my tip-toes and watch him from the doorway. He opens the fridge door so the light brightens the grey-dark of the room. His pale blue eyes squint as he surveys the shelves then he closes the door and moves onto the cupboard beside the fridge, opening the door and looking inside.
"I need to find them..." he mumbles, narrowing his eyes.
My skin prickles at the sound of his soft voice.
"Find what?" I ask, my curiosity getting the better of me.
He turns his head slowly in my direction and I swallow a breath.
"The eggs...we need to get them before they hatch."
Oh great, he's having a crazy dream.
"I know, we absolutely do," I reply sternly, playing along. He nods affirmatively and moves onto the next cupboard. "I'll help you look."
I hurry into the kitchen and start opening cupboards with him. Suddenly, he drops to the floor onto his hands and knees but with such grace that all I hear is a slight whoosh of his body moving then a tiny tap of his fingertips touching the ground. I watch him as he presses the side of his face against the cold tile floor as looks underneath all the appliances.
"I can't see them anywhere. I think it's too late," he says. The worry in his voice makes me want to scoop him up and give him a squeeze.
"Tom," I whisper softly, touching his shoulder. His head bounces up and his blue eyes shine up at me expectantly. I smile. "How about you go back to bed and I'll keep looking?"
He sighs and gets to his feet. "I think I scared them away."
"I'll find them," I assure him and guide him out to the hallway. With the slightest of pushes, he starts to head to the hall. "Go to bed, Tom."
"Will you come with me?"
My heart flutters. "To...bed?"
He nods, still looking ahead.
"Erm...no, Tom. You go back to your bed and after I find the eggs I will go back to mine."
Suddenly, he stops and twirls around, grabbing the tops of my arms. I let out a delighted mewl when his hands lock around me. My mouth snaps shut and my eyes widen.
"I should tell her. I should tell her, shouldn't I? But I can't. It's bad. It's really bad. I can't...But I should." The words rush out of his mouth as if he has had them locked up inside him and they've all just burst out at once. His eyes are wide and frantic as he stares into mine.
"Tell who what?" I ask softly, trying to coax information out of his sleepy state. People say that sleepwalking is caused by stress...what is Tom stressed about?
"I can't tell her. But I can't help what I feel can I? Will she be mad at me? It's not my fault."
My heart starts to drum against my chest.
"What do you feel, Tom? Tell me."
His mouth snaps shut and he shakes his head rapidly.
"Tom, tell me," I press.
"It's bad. She will never forgive me. She can't know."
"Who can't know what?"
He slaps his hands over his mouth but I grab his wrists and yank them down.
His eyes widen. "I can't tell her that I have feelings for Ebby."
After ushering Tom back into his bedroom and assuring him that I would find his precious eggs, I shut my bedroom door behind me and do a silent happy dance. Tom has feelings for me! Holy crap! That must be what's been eating him up. That's what's caused his sleepwalking. Part of me feels a little sorry for him. Having feelings for your girlfriend's daughter can't be easy but forgive me for being insanely ecstatic right now!
Okay, calm down Ebony, you need to think about how you're going to play this. Tom admitted his feelings to me but he was asleep and he told me as if he had no idea who I was. The dream must have distorted things somewhat so maybe when he wakes up he will think it was all some very vivid dream? My heart sinks. What if it was a vivid dream? What if his declaration of feeling was just as crazy as his egg scenario? No. I can't believe that. The look on his face said it all. He was truly worried about what he was saying. He was feeling what he was saying. He meant it.
So, will he remember in the morning?
I guess I'll have to wait and find out.