The dragon who slept beside him at night said she saw it wiggle and jump, too, when the light was on and the shadow was strong. But nobody respected her. She was just an Imaginary Friend, and he wasn't supposed to have those now.
He lay there, feeling like there wasn't anything good left in his life. Miss Lovey the dragon (he named her that when he was three) just sighed and told him he was a good person.
"You're stronger than I am, do you know that? I only collect trivial things, the little stuff that has meaning only sometimes. You do more important jobs now and then, I have the same one all the time. And you. You should at least sleep if you're going to lie there depressed. We can work together."
He nodded, since nobody was watching to worry when he reacted to things he saw "inside". But he couldn't sleep.
The day trickled on, and Miss Lovey got up. She had business to take care of, she said, and he'd be all right for a few hours alone.
He thought he saw his mother for a few minutes, just standing beside his bed, giving him a loving look. Not quite a smile. But "seeing things" didn't mean they were there, according to the rest of his world. Except for the things he saw. They seemed to see each other and react to what the others did.
Eventually he sat up and tried to rub his sore back. Miss Lovey had been saying his wings were in terrible shape, but humans don't have wings. Anyway, he had to pee. That was real.
Finally he got out of bed. The house gave him a look of relief on the way down the hall. His dad would be home in just over an hour, and nothing was done. At least he hadn't made any new mess to add to it.