I couldn't be sure... Her chest was moving, I took that as a good thing. My fingers ached from prodding at her, they burned like acid was slowly ascending up my palms. Mama had told me that number, that number to phone when bad things happened... but what was it? My brain throbbed just trying to recall that fact.
The searing in my eyes was now controlling me, transforming into a ravenous hysteria that spurted warm tears from deep within my unformed body.
"Mama?... Wake up mama... please... what about the cinema tomorrow? We were going to see Lion King redigit...redigit...something...Oh mama wake up and tell me what that word was..."
The words were exploding, crashing together and forming muddles. I sniffled and spluttered, still battling with myself about how to react. The searing that was controlling me felt the need to shut me down, put me on automatic. There was no response in me. No faith. No nothing. I was empty.
Such a familiar word. But now said with such rattling desperation, it was meaningless. With no answers left, no more pleas; I reached to the phone and dialled anything. Any three numbers. My first five attempts were futile, the emotionless answer of the recording sent me shivering. Until finally - somewhere deep in the crevasses of my six-year old subconscious - came a dancing set of numbers. Three happy nines in a line, holding hope on a silver-plated tray. As I dialled I felt that, hope, that I wasn't crawling towards oblivion that I was climbing back up to the clouds.
"999, what's your emergency?" A soft voice answered. My words suddenly fell from me with a clunk, they landed on the floor with iron weights dressing them.
"I...uh... Mama...She fell." I choked on them, they weren't real. They were letters I couldn't gather up.
"Okay, I need you to calm down sweetheart and tell me if your mummy is still breathing?" The feather voice answered.
"I think so. Her chest moves."
"You're being very brave darling, what's your name?"
"I'm going to send an ambulance right away okay? But I want you to keep talking to me for a while would that be okay Cassie?" The voice was so soft it stroked me as it sang on, I went to kneel beside mama again; keeping the phone clenched in my moist hand.
The first words mama spoke after she woke up were the most perfect formations of letters that had ever caressed my ears. Her voice was as gentle as always, her eyes are alert and full of love. That's what the doctors said happened, her love made her heart go funny. I sometimes think that maybe it was all the love she has for me coiled up in there... But now she keeps her love in a safer part of her heart, it won't make her fall asleep like that again.