The first time it happened, Ted had been 19 and Cody was 16. Ted's roommate was gone for the weekend and had graciously lent Cody the use of his bed. The boys had had a long day and were pretty much passed out, until a loud noise woke Ted only a few hours after he had fallen into bed.
The loud noise was Cody screaming his lungs out.
Ted's reaction was immediate. He leapt out of his bed, bounding to the other side of the room as quickly as possible to get to his best friend. Cody was flailing about wildly, eyes wide open as the scream poured from his wide open lips.
"What's wrong? Calm down!" Ted shouted and grabbed for Cody's shoulders trying to keep him from moving so much. But Cody didn't answer, never looked at Ted and had just kept screaming. And that scared Ted. He continued to grip the smaller boy's shoulders as the scream eventually died out. Cody's blue eyes slid shut and he sank back into the pillow, falling right back asleep.
That had been the first time and Ted had been so shaken afterwards that he had cried himself to sleep.
The next time it happened, Ted was still at school in Mississippi and Cody was at home in Georgia. His mother had run into his bedroom and tried to hold her son as he screamed and cried. His eyes were open; she hadn't understood why he didn't respond to the sound of her voice. And then, Cody fell back asleep, leaving his terrified mother to watch over him.
After the fifth time it happened, his mother took him to the doctor, and then to sleep lab on his recommendation. His dad had even come home to sit with his mother, while they attached wires to his head and left him in a dark, eerily sterile room to go to sleep.
Three hours in it happened and his parents could only watch as he suffered. The next morning, Cody woke up and began to cry, for the first time remembering bits and pieces of what he had seen in his sleep.
As he sat shaking in his mother's arms, the doctor told them, "Night terrors. Unusual for someone his age unless they have suffered from some sort of trauma. Any incident in the past that may have affected him in this way?"
His parents looked at each other briefly, not being able to think of anything, then his mother asked, "Cody, honey, did something happen that we don't know about?"
He didn't answer, he never did.