The Monster Under The Bed Ch. 02byAzPilot©
This needed closure was brought on by "Anonymous in the USA", my nice daughter and my "pain in the butt" daughter. After a few moments thought, I knew they were correct. Hey, "right" is a direction. Here's my answer. I hope you like it.
The years had gone by. I had gone into the service, had attended college and had gotten a job. All the way, and all the time, collecting more friends. Soon enough, I met a young lady. We married and had a family, in that order. My wife soon became my best friend as well as my lover. Life was good, with two verys.
I told my children about Jake, but they never seemed to be sensitive to any emanations from under their beds. A couple had some problems with their closets, but I couldn't offer any advice in that regard as I had never been issued a closet monster of my own; apparently through a bureaucratic glitch when I was a kid.
I did hear that closet monsters were grumpier, probably because of all the hangers strewn throughout the floor, shelf and rod. I don't blame them, I hate a bunch of tangled hangers, too, and I don't have to contend with them in my sole living space. It was funny to see the reactions of the various kids. A couple were truly leery for some time, and stayed out of their closets as much as possible. A couple of the others ignored them- a non problem. One, who sleepwalked a bit, could often be found curled up on a small heap of clothes in the closet and sleeping soundly. In her own way, she had made peace with her closet monster. None had a monster under the bed. I often thought that it was no wonder they were depraved- they were deprived.
Anyway, as time went on, the children grew up, moved out, and on. That was fine. Several of them stayed close so we never had the dreaded "empty nester' syndrome. Some of our kids had ups and downs, so we were glad to help. We even had some grandkids live with us at times. They never had their own monster, closet or otherwise. One did scream about a spider in the bathroom one time, but was calmed when we assured her that he was "Freddie" who ate other bugs around the house. She bought it and never had a problem again.
It got quiet again for a while, then a few greatgrands came along. Times were not the best and they came to live with us for a time. They, too, got the information about the monsters, underbed and closet, but again, they never had the experience, sad to say.
Things got better and they went back to live with their parents; we were once again alone. It was quiet, but comfortable. Then the unexpected happened. My wife of many years died. I was now alone. What had been a sometimes crowded, noisy, warm home was now a large, echoing cold structure.
I went through the usual pity party and why me's, but when it was over, I was still alone. I didn't go out as much; just stayed home, read and watched TV. About a year after my wife had died, I was taking a nap on my bed one afternoon and I heard a kind of a skitter. It was followed by a skritch. That got my attention. I rolled on my side, looked over the side of the bed and peeked down at the floor. Suddenly, out popped a spotted black and white dust bunny.
Wait a minute; that was Jakes favorite. Jake, my under-the-bed monster when I was a young boy. When he left, after I had grown, he had taken that one with him. My mind almost burst with emotion. JAKE, my mind shouted. Sure enough, he beamed back, "don't shout". He was back, under my bed.
The feeling was indescribable. I had consoled myself that I was going to be alone the rest of my life. And here was Jake, back again. We talked for two days straight, getting each others stories.
After leaving me when I had grown, he had been assigned to a series of other children, leaving, as required, when they no longer believed. There had always been a hiccup in his service record, as I had not only believed, I had KNOWN. It seems that the elders at the academy had kept an eye on my life, all this time. They knew when I became a "one" again. They were also too well aware of the rapport that the two of us had , years ago. It seems that they had called a special meeting to discuss this very problem of mine.
It was decided by a majority that as soon as Jake was finished at his present assignment, he would be shifted to beneath my bed, once again. It took a year. He was here now. He would stay with me until, shall we say, my contract ended.
I really don't know how to describe my feelings. Here was my best friend, my only friend from my youth, and he was going to keep me company from now on. What a wonderful feeling. We could keep each other entertained with tales of what went on in the years we were separated. I'll bet he has some doozies. I've had some adventures, of course, and they'll take some telling, too. I'm sure we'll keep each other entertained for the few remaining years of my life.
It's sure perked me up. It's given me a purpose. I now have someone to talk with, to bore with photos of the kids, grandkids and the greatgrands. Oh, my. I can certainly feel the rush that he has and his eagerness to tell me about all the kids he was assigned to- the ones that ignored him, the ones that feared him and the ones that tolerated him. I was the only one that the elders knew about that had ever communicated with a under-the-bed monster and KNEW, not just believed. Of course, that was the reason for the reunion now.
The elders never quite knew what to do about our association, years ago. They tacitly approved, for they never stopped it by moving Jake, but it was so foreign that they couldn't get a clear decision on how to handle it. Now, I found out that they had followed me through maturity, marriage, the child rearing years and seemed that they liked what they saw. They knew I told the children about the monsters, both under-the-bed, and closet, and had portrayed them in a good light. It seems that this had earned me some special points with the closet monster society, too. All this helped the elders to make the decision to reassign Jake to my bed again, over 60 years later.
By this time, I was down to a single twin bed once again. It was all I needed now, as when I was little. I discussed it with Jake. We tossed it around for a while, then I realized that Jake had only been under children's beds all his career. Those are little beds. Kids beds, single beds, bunkbeds.
What the Hell, why not give him a treat? That's when I told him what I was going to do. As a treat for being my best friend, I decided to buy a kingsized bed and give Jake more room than he had ever had in his entire career. Needless to say that Jake was overjoyed.
I went out that very day and bought a new, kingsized bed. It was delivered the next day and Jake could hardly contain himself, waiting in the closet for the men to assemble this magnificent edifice to Morpheus. They had barely left the room when he scooted out of the closet, much to the relief of Hank, my closet monster and slid under the bed in the finest tradition of a major leaguer sliding into first base. Wow, I wish you could have seen it. He did circles, esses, spins and twirls. Like a kid in an amusement park for the first time. It took him a week, at least to calm down. I hadn't had so much fun since I watched my kids learning to walk.
We're going to have a great time in the time left. I now have a purpose. I look forward to getting up every day and even more important, I look forward to being with Jake every day. Jake and I will have each other for company and that's a good thing. Have a nice day. I know I will.