fiction: hide-and-seek

silhouettes of evergreen trees against a misty background
Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

You’ve become terrific at playing hide-and-seek.

There was a time, not too long ago, when you were only too eager to give yourself away. A not-so-muffled giggle. A deliberately conspicuous thump. A noisy swish of fabric.

And when all else failed, I only had to ask, “Where are you?”, and the shape of you would burst into view. Like a dolphin leaping, breaking the surface of the ocean, you’d plunge into the void of your absence, shouting, “Here!”, and careen into my arms.

“Where are you?” I holler now. My voice is hoarse from all the times I’ve called out to you since morning. You remain quiet and hidden, as if you have finally understood the rules of the game and discovered a compulsive urge to abide by them.