"Daddy?" A small, quiet voice asked in the semi-darkness.
Arnold heard the voice and felt a slight tug of his comforter. Waking up from the combined movement and sound, he saw that his three-year-old daughter, Emmy, was looking at him with sad eyes.
I'm surprised none of the boarders woke up, he thought to himself. "Emmy?" Arnold asked sweetly, "Why are you out of bed sweetheart?"
"I had a bad dream."
Arnold knew all too well about the trials of bad dreams and toddlers. Laughing to himself, he asked "What was it about honey?"
Emmy looked down and said quietly, "Mommy."
At that moment, Arnold rose up out of the bed, and put his hands on his daughter's little shoulders. He didn't want to dare ask her what the dream was about, he knew it would have opened up a wound for himself and his daughter. "Honey, it's alright, it was just a dream. Mommy is with you wherever you go, she is here to protect you and love you."
Emmy closed her eyes and nodded, with a small pout formed on her mouth.
Arnold smiled at his daughter and said, "How about we get some sleep, okay?"
Emmy changed her expression, and said, "Okay Daddy." She got herself up on Arnold's bed, and cuddled closely to his left side. "I love you Daddy."
Arnold wrapped his arm around Emmy and looked down at her. He couldn't help but think to himself at how blessed he was that the love of his life and him were able to create a child together. "I love you too Emmy."
He then looked up at the ceiling and started to think about Emmy's dream. He knew this day would come eventually. His wife had passed away six months ago, two weeks before Emmy turned three. Although he was still grieving for his wife, he had to stay strong for their daughter, as she was aware of her mom's passing. He knew she would start asking questions about her mother, how her mother died and why it would happen to her, however, Arnold just wasn't sure if he was ready for that yet; he couldn't get over the fact that his wife was really gone.
Looking to see if Emmy was asleep, which she was, Arnold slowly turned over to face his nightstand, where a picture of him and his wife on their wedding day stood. He quietly picked it up, and thought while looking at the picture, Helga, my love. I miss you and need you, I wish you were here right now.
He kissed the picture, placed it back on the nightstand, and fell asleep.