It’s 4:30 a.m. and the doors slams shut behind her. Baba’s small and heavy footsteps scurry to my side of the bed.
“Mama, Mama!” she says. Half-asleep, I have already moved over to help her climb in and she does so, settling in under the blankets. “Mama, Mama,” she says again, clutching my neck and face obsessively before rolling over and thrusting her backside into my chest.
“Hi Baba,” I say. “Now, shhh…it’s too early.”
“Mama,” she says, pulling my arm over her. “You put your hand on my tummy.”
“Okay,” I say, settling in with my arm around her as my heart melts. The warmth of her relaxes me, just as the warmth of my much-missed cat would when he would curl up next to my side.
My eyes just close.
“Mama!” Baba says impatiently. “Don’t touch me.” She returns my arm to me, indignant at my daring.