You hid, I seeked.

There was someone who loved playing hide-and-seek with me. Memories of a distant past and a childhood game that still seem so vivid to me.

If I could turn back the hands of the clock to go back to a day we played hide-and-seek I wouldn’t walk into your hiding spot and tell you there was one rule to the game I forgot to mention. I wouldn’t say “and by the way, I caught you!” as if you can catch people like you catch colds. The criminals; they’re running away and you can’t catch them because they’re dwelling inside of us… not too far away from where our words stop making sense. When I look at you now, I wish I could say that none of the rules really matter now, but had I not told you when you crouched between a broken radio and a three legged table about it, the game would not have been a real one. But also, I wouldn’t have had to see your eyes scream at me, scaring me enough to run to comforting shoulders that buried my tears while you kept thrashing your cold looks at me. The boy who forgot the game would not have had to wonder why no one called out his name and find out later that the seeker was too busy crying over what she lost. It’s always easy to lose a game, it’s always harder to lose yourself… because you can always win the next game, but it takes an awfully long time to win back your thoughts. And when you thought it was fair to be unfair to me, that’s when my heart felt shattered. Did I really not matter enough to be part of the pact? Alone, with my palms shielding my eyes I waited for the call of “Ready, come and catch me!”. A call that never came. I wondered if you could have hidden too far for me to hear so I walked through every nook and corner that you could hide your laughs or breaths from but I knew I wasn’t all that bad not to notice that I was the only one playing the game anymore. I thought my heart would fall off my chest when I saw the sketches the tires had left behind in the mud so I spent all the seconds that took for you to come back to say I finally found you, but the next time we play, you couldn’t use vehicles or hide outside the borders. I found you every time. It was always the same story: you hide, I find you, and it was easy. I knew all your favorite hiding spots: under the couch, between the window and the wall, inside the empty water tank, and I could find you with my eyes closed. Years from then, I’m still looking to find where I lost myself, and being the seeker I was I still don’t know.

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