Disclaimer: The song "Safe and Sound" doesn't belong to me in any way.


I remember tears streaming down your face,

when I said I'd never let you go.

When all those shadows almost killed your light.

I remember you said,

" Don't leave me here alone, " she tells me. She's trying her best not to sob, with a hand over her mouth. She's trying her best not to tremble in my arms, though we both know she won't be able to keep that up for long.

Isabelle had another bad dream. She's been having them for a week straight and they're getting worse and worse every night.

I told her to tell mom and dad about it, but she always tells me to keep hushed about it. She always tells me not to even breathe a single word concerning the problem. I wasn't allowed to hint it to our parents or even tell them behind her back and just promise that they didn't hear from me.

I agreed.

But all that's dead and gone and passed,

tonight

It wasn't like I was losing anything, so it didn't matter too much.

But being woken up by little choked sobs was getting kind of tiring too. At first, I didn't do anything about, just telling her to back to sleep or else I would've told on her, and she would. She would wake up in the morning acting as if nothing happened, going back to her daily routine of causing mayhem and blaming it all on me.

Then as I realized they got worse, I started to panic a little. Like tonight for example. She woke up practically screaming for my mom, and I quickly had to get over to her side and comfort her. She was still sleep as she tried to scream some more, but with my hushing and stroking of her hair, she calmed down enough to wake up, with tears in her eyes. She looked so confused, and when seeing me in the dark, only my outline too, she jumped in my arms.

She isn't the lightest thing in the world, I can tell you that, and I almost fell on the floor because of her. But with enough effort, I managed to crawl to her favorite corner on her bed, and just lay against the wall for support, cradling Isabelle in my arms. Though she's heavy, she's pretty small.

Just close your eyes

the sun's going down.

You'll be alright,

no one can hurt you now.

Come morning light

you and I will be

Safe and Sound

" I'm not leaving, " I assured her, as her cries became more desperate for my answer. " I won't leave you here. I won't fall asleep until you do, okay, Isabelle? "

She nodded and cried some more, using my pajama top to muffle out any whimpers and sobs that accidentally slipped from her throat.

I pet her head and continue to hush her. I hum some old lullabies to her and just rock her.

Though I'm really tried and could really fall asleep at any moment now, I manage to keep myself up from doing so.

There are times when Isabelle can be a pain. And that's what I tell my friends all the time; she's a pain and annoying. She can never leave me alone and is always expecting me to play with her, when I obviously want to play with kids my age. She whines and cries about everything, getting me in trouble for no apparent reason and getting me grounded for a week. She'll fight me when she wants something, clawing my face and pulling my hair, but when I lift my hand to not slap her, but to just push her away, she makes everything dramatic, getting me even more frustrated than ever.

But then there are days when I can't help but love to be her older sister. Like now for example; how she reacts to letting our mom and dad know about her nightmares, and then there's me. She trusts me and that makes me so happy. There are also days when I actually get jealous of my cousin for being able to avert Isabelle's attention from me for a moment. Isabelle adores our cousin Ariana. She'll follow her around whenever she comes over, and during those days, I am the grumpiest person ever.

Isabelle is my sister.

I hug her tightly, feeling her trembles die down, and I just continue to hum some more; pushing her bangs away from her sweaty face, and over her head.

Don't you dare look out your window,

darling everything's on fire.

The war outside outside our door,

keeps raging on.

" In my dream, " Isabelle starts slowly, " I was all alone. "

" Yeah? Why? Where was everybody? " I wasn't sure whether to press her with this sort of question during her delicate moment, but I did any way. Or else she might forget in the morning and I'll never know. The thought of not knowing will haunt me forever.

" Gone. Everybody died. You died too, Vanessa. I was so scared. "

" You know that isn't going to happen, " I tell her with a small smile, hoping she could at least see that. " You know I'm way too cool to die so easily by anything. "

Maybe Isabelle saw it; because she started to laugh a little too, " that's right. "

Hold on to this lullaby,

even when the music's

gone.

Gone.

Just close your eyes,

the sun is going down.

" But are you okay now? "

" Yeah. "

" So are you going to try and fall asleep now? "

She tightens her hold on my shirt and shakes her head. " Can we stay up all night? Just this once, Vanessa? "

" No Isabelle, you need your sleep. And I have school, so I can't do that. "

" I don't want to dream again, " she mutters so helplessly. I hush her little protests by petting down her hair once more and humming another lullaby. Her voice quickly fades and all I can hear now are little hiccups here and there, and her content sighing.

" Just close your eyes, " I tell her and she nods without another complaint. I'm practically falling asleep myself, but I try hard not to. Though it's hard, I manage for a couple of more minutes. " There's nothing to be scared of now. I'm right here and I won't leave you - ever. You're my little sister and there is no way I'll ever just die off and leave you alone. I'd be a horrible big sister if I did that, so don't worry anymore. Mom and dad are the same. Ariana too, and Bradley, Brandon - everyone. okay? "

" .. Okay... "

" Good. Now try and fall sleep. "

" You promise you won't leave me? "

" I promise. "

You'll be alright.

No one can hurt you now.

Come morning light

you and I will be

Safe and Sound.

Isabelle was fast asleep sooner than expected. And like I promised, I didn't move. I remained seated with her in my arms and just fell asleep, myself, like that.

I dreamt of having an adventure, saving people from demons and such with Isabelle by my side - she was my strength. And when a demon dared to try and attack my sister, I destroyed him without second's thought. She didn't cry like she always did, but rather smiled and held on to my tighter.

It was a nice dream. I don't get dreams like that too often; especially ones with Isabelle.

Just close your eyes,

you'll be alright.

Come morning light,

you and I will be

The very next morning, when my mom woke me up for school, I saw her carrying a still-sleeping Isabelle. She was smiling at me and looked so proud of me at the same time.

Almost as if she knew what happened.

I got ready in a matter of minutes and was just about to leave when Isabelle happened to wake up in time. She dashed over to my side and smiled real big, holding my hand to stop me from leaving the door. My dad had to check up on my hold up and was happy to see this scene as well.

I was kind of confused, but tightened my hand around hers. I smiled too.

" No more bad dreams for me, " she said happily, before adding, " and good-morning Vanessa. "

She'll be fine on her own, now.

Safe and Sound.


One of my favorite memories I shared with my little sister. I was around eight-years old at the time, while she was still a tiny four-year old child. We didn't argue as much after this night.