Hiding

When I was about twelve I was home alone at my father’s house. I don’t know where everyone else was or why I wasn’t with them. I was at that age where I was starting to not want to be seen in public with my family so perhaps I refused to go out with them and my father decided to leave me at home. It was early in the afternoon and almost as soon as I was left alone I started to get scared.

I came to the conclusion that there was someone else in the house and that I was in grave danger so I crept up the stairs and grabbed a blanket all the while “hearing” a person or people wander through the home. I knew not to hide under a bed because that seemed too obvious and so I lay under a desk and covered myself in the blanket.

I’m sure if there had actually been someone in the house, the lumpy blanket under a desk would have drawn more attention than a twelve year old under a bed but I wasn’t thinking rationally. I wept silently as “the intruder” wandered from room to room looking for me.

The blanket started to lift slowly and I knew there was nothing I could do. I had been discovered. I got ready to beg for my life, my heart raced as the light hit my face and I saw… my cat. She was obviously curious as to why I was hiding under a blanket under a desk so she had come to check on me. I sighed with relief and pulled her under the desk with me. I was still convinced someone was in the house and I wanted her to be safe too.

We lay there in fear for what felt like hours but was more likely twenty minutes or half an hour until my father came home. Even when I heard his voice I was still too afraid to come out or to call out to him. He found me, still holding the cat, crying under the desk in my brother’s room.

I guess I was a pretty immature twelve year old but my father’s place never made me feel safe and happy. It probably took a couple of years for me to feel comfortable enough to be in that house alone again.

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