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Hide and Seek

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I remember
the day;
you said “Let’s play hide and seek!”
Usually
we played on rainy days,
but that day
was dark outside and I couldn’t tell
what exactly
was happening in the sky.
Usually we
played when it was quiet, but that day was
loud
from too much yelling. It was so loud that I thought that they were having a party.
My parents,
I mean. My brother told me that sometimes
people
start to yell at parties, even though my parents
were the only ones at the party.
I wanted to go
but my brother shook his head and said,
“Let’s play hide and seek!”

Hide and seek
is my favorite game. I always win
because
I’m little so I can fit into small places;
into
every corner,
under
every bed,
on top of
every shelf,
you know what I mean.
That day you counted to ten instead of twenty,
so I had to find a hiding place fast. It was a bad spot—
but I hid in the closet
because it was the best thing I could think of in such a hurry.

Your
voice was loud and clear; I remember I could even hear you over the screaming.
But then your voice began to trail away.
And in the dark
of the closet, listening to that party,
And dreaming
I was there too, I fell asleep.
And I stayed
in that closet because you told me to. And I thought you’d never find me.
And you never did.
Because when I came out of the closet,
there was no one
Playing hide and seek. There was no one left at all. Only the party downstairs.
Dead silent.

Now that I’m older,
I don’t listen to everything people tell me to do.
I don’t fit into every space.
I don’t play hide and seek.

Now that I’m older,
I know what parties are really like.
I know why parents are always yelling.
I know why we played hide and seek.





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