In the corner of the room, a lantern throws a feeble light. A moth flits chaotically above it, casting an erratic shadow dance onto the wall. A large window is heavily armed with drapes that reach from ceiling to floor. By day, they are closed. By night they are like an eyelid that opens, allowing a view of the external nocturnal world.
A small boy tugs at the drapes, dividing them. A splash of moonlight spills into the room, basking him in a milky film that puddles around his feet. His face is angelic and pale; his eyes, red-rimmed and the same colour blue that appears between clouds on a summer’s day. Tight rust coloured curls border his delicate features.
Outside, a rugby match plays on a neighbouring field. He watches the boys, who are all older than him, run up and down with the wind in their hair.
“Do you want to go down and watch?” his mother asks. She sits on his bed, repeatedly smoothing his sheets.
“No,” he answers.
She studies his frame; takes in his delicate features as her sadness takes over in general. Life is unfair. She waits for his question-the same one he asks every night.
“Will I always be allergic to sun?” he asks.
“Yes, James,” she answers. “It's very rare,” she adds.
“Because I’m special...”
“Yes, because you are special. Very special,” she answers.
He tugs again at the curtains, closes the eye of his nocturnal world and retreats to his bed and his ongoing world of darkness.