For a year now, ever since she turned five, the family thought she was afraid of the dark. Just like any other little kid. They probably thought she was afraid of monsters, like Jeffrey next door.
Every night it was the same thing. “Light on!” she yelled after one of her parents or sisters read her a story and tucked her in. She insisted they wedge her wastebasket just so—to keep the door from closing. The hall light stayed on. However, for a short while someone would turn it off later on. She always woke up. “Turn it back on!” she screamed. With the hall light on again, she would go back to sleep. But not really. She would never actually sleep. She’d just be resting with her eyes closed. And only so long as the light in the hall was on.
Just about this time last year she’d asked her mom, “What will happen when I die?”
“Oh, honey. Don’t worry about things like that.”
“I want to know.”
“Well, it’s just like throwing a penny in a lake. The waves never really stop touching everything. They go on and on. So do we. After we die we still live on in the hearts of those we love and who loved us.”
“What happens when those people die?” she’d asked.