Jenny is our daughter. Our only child, she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. One of the manifestations of her disability is an obsession with sets of three.
The biggest challenge is bed time. There are certain things she always needs to do before she goes to sleep. First she counts her family. Her mother, her father, and herself. ONE, TWO, THREE.
We stand outside her room so she can count us. It makes her life just a bit easier. Next she flicks her light. Slowly. Off… on… and finally off. ONE, TWO, THREE.
She then walks to her bed, I tuck her in, and give her three kisses. ONE, TWO, THREE. The same thing every night.
This night was no different. At about 11:00 my wife and I line up outside her door, ready for her to start the ritual.
She points, to herself. “ONE!” she exclaims.
She points to Karen. “TWO”
She points to me. “THREE”. She grins with accomplishment.
Then she turns to her light switch. Slowly.
Off… ONE. on… TWO.
She freezes. And screams. As she drops to the floor I run to her.
"Honey what’s wrong!?" She’s shaking her head and shivering. I’ve seen her in tantrums, but never this bad.
Slowly she raises a finger and points. To the darkness behind my wife. And then I see him.
“Four” she whimpers