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I’m a grown woman, so it’s been years since I don’t live by my mother’s rules. But there’s one thing I will always respect: never go to bed with a wet hair.
For my mother, it meant catching a cold, but for me, it was something else entirely.
Last night, I decided to break this rule. The weather was too warm and I had to wash my hair because I was feeling all sweaty and gross. But I hate using the hairdryer, so I just used a towel and went to sleep.
The whole night, thumping noises coming from under my bed kept me awake. They were only on my side of the bed. Since my husband is out of town, I rolled to his side, but the noises shifted as well.
I know most people would be bothered. But I decided to get up, go to the bathroom and blow dry my hair once for all. It’s not too much work anyway.
When I got back, the noises stopped. I spent good 20 minutes trying to sleep, but I was too happy, so I had to ask.
“Drippy, is that you?”
A soft thump was all the answer I needed.
You see, I was a lonely kid. I only had two friends: Gummy, my guinea pig, and Drippy, the “monster” under the bed. The “monster” part is so prejudiced. They are actually very sweet.
Drippy would never let me sleep having done something I believe to be wrong. Once I stole some change from my mother’s purse to buy candy and he never stopped thumping and making the bed shake until I put it back.
Sometimes I couldn’t sleep at night because I was sad and lonely, then I would ask him questions and Drippy would answer with a single thump for yes or a shake for no. He was so smart and cared about me.
I named him Drippy because sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night to soft dripping noises coming from under the bed. I never knew what it was, but I didn’t mind. It helped me sleep, like gentle rain on your windowsill.
He was there for me even in my teenage years, when I made friends and forgot him for a long time. The day I smoked weed and didn’t like, but decided to keep smoking anyway to be cool, he violently shook my bed until I promised him I would never do it again.
Ever since I moved from my parent’s home in the rural area, I lost contact with Drippy. But, somehow, he found me.
I didn’t have much sleep, but woke up full of joy and was singing while making myself breakfast. I don’t have kids and work from home, so sometimes I watch my neighbors’ kids. Today, I had little Flora over.
Flora is usually a quiet kid, but today she was a bit agitated, so I decided to take a break and play with her. She’s 4-years-old, probably some running around will be enough to have her sound asleep in the couch while I get some work done.
We agreed to play hide and seek. After finding each other a few times, I was counting when I heard her tiny footsteps disappearing in the general direction of my bedroom.
I looked for her everywhere, but she was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t even hear breathing, laughing or the noise of her shoes changing hiding spots. My apartment is not big, so there’s nowhere else she could have been.
Then I remembered an episode from my childhood.
Gummy once went under my bed and disappeared. I cried for days, until my parents found him somewhere completely unrelated. He was a lot chubbier and his fur had a different color, but my mom told me guineas are all like that. They change colors all the time, that’s their magic.
He never changed colors again and forgot all the tricks I had taught him, but I loved him anyway.
So here’s the thing: I think Flora tried to hide under the bed and Drippy took her somewhere else. I’ll ask him later.
In the meantime, I was obviously worried and anxious to tell my neighbor that her daughter went missing, but I made sure to tell her it was very likely Flora would appear somewhere else in a few days. As a result, my neighbor hates me, and made it clear she plans to report me to the police.
Today I couldn’t sleep because the dripping sounds were so loud and kinda unnerving. Drippy told me he hasn’t seen Flora, but I think he’s lying for some reason. I asked if I could go under the bed check it out, and he said yes.