Building Blocks Playing Hide and Seek

I never really knew what to expect when I sat outside every day for a rotation, I didn’t even know what I would think about. So, as I settled in the tall grass for those six days, this Act of Kindness took on a whole new meaning to me. Painful thoughts I was running away from caught up to me, but I never figured out how. It seemed as if I was trying to hide from these things, but I popped out and screamed “Here I am!” to the world. I didn’t want to, but I was forced to.
At the beginning of this year, when I was twelve, if you asked me if I was looking forward to my sister going to college, I would have stared at you, obviously saying, “Well duh!” And every month gone by, I would calculate in my head how long it would be until she left. But then, precisely on my thirteenth birthday, the teenage side of me clicked on, and the childish side of me flicked off, miraculously making my sister and I much closer than we had been before. I confide in her, and she tells me the secrets that she doesn’t tell my parents. When I was reflecting upon this matter in those six days, if found my longing for her to leave pass, and my dreading her leaving step forward.
I can’t tell many people about this, because up until this year, I came to school with a fresh story about what my sister had done to me the night before or that morning. I tried telling one of my friends, but she simply stared at me and said, “Your sister?” I nodded yes as if this was obvious. “Tori?” She stated her name clearly, once, twice, three times. I nodded all of these times. My friend laughed as if this was a joke, but this was no joke, I felt like I could tell my sister anything, and she would not tell anyone. And as I see this huge gap, age wise, and personality wise filled a little more each day, and sometimes a little withdrawn, I can see that what everyone says is true, about how we will be best friends when we grow up.
Another thing that changed this year was that only a month ago Karen died. It was unexpected and unreal, a blur that consisted of a week that the mind couldn’t keep up with. I strived to keep up with my life that week, but it seemed everywhere I turned, there was Karen. Karen’s face, Karen’s name. I wanted to run. I wanted to run away from everything and everyone and just scream. I wanted the world to know how I felt, have my voice heard, not my mom’s, or my sister’s. And when the time came to purchase plane tickets for her funeral, I was unable to go because of school. This was the part in the week when I wanted to tear all my hair out, grow it back, and tear it out again. The pain was so searing it felt like I was swimming in hot coals. No one understood, no one ever does, because even if they had someone die before, that person and their loved one that died would never have the same personal bond as you and your loved one. No, there was no one quite like Karen. That’s one thing that I am absolutely sure of. When my mind wandered to this thought over the days I spent outside, my mind wandered instantly to plants. Plants may look identical, but one tiny thing may be different, their smell, the shape of their seed, maybe off white petals instead of white petals. Just like my best friend said, “There are so many different kinds of plants in the world, but deep inside, you hold one as your favorite.” And that’s what Karen was, my favorite.
It used to be hard to even think about Karen, one thought of her, and my mind would race to the last time she was leaving her apartment, the last time her shoes touched the asphalt road, the last time she dropped a letter in the mailbox, then ZOOM, BAM, a car passes by, and she is gone. But now, I can write about her. About my longing for her to be here with me, about how I miss her. I wish I could tell her this.
I remember one time, in La Jolla, Karen and I were playing Hide and Seek in my grandparents’ condo. I was hiding, she was seeking. I decided to hide behind a chair, and as she looked for me, I giggled. She smiled and turned around, and there I was, beaming at her, and she laughed and laughed, and I laughed, and we just stood there, laughing too hard to even care about the game. I yearn for that laugh one more time, and I hear it all the time in my dreams.
I guess, life is fit together by building blocks. And most, imperfect lives are consisted of a three year old child trying to making a tower with the little blocks on the bottom and the larger blocks on the top, she wants the tower to stay up forever, but everyone knows, gravity will win, and eventually, the tower falls to pieces at her feet. I know now that I am a single building block in the lives of everyone that I know, whether I am a tiny one, that doesn’t make a huge impact on their lives, or a huge one that makes a huge impact on their lives, it doesn’t matter. And sometimes, a building block or two rolls away, and is missing for days at a time, but you will eventually find it, and laugh at how much fun Hide and Seek is.





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ellie315 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm
wow cammy this is beautiful. i luv ur style of writing. it just flows and it seems rly honest and heartfelt. i <3 it. i can relate cuz i was kind of the same way w/ my brother. :) LUV IT! keep writing!
 
writrgrl1571 replied...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm
thanks ellie! you are AMAZING too!
 
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