I have this sort of strange love of hide-and-seek. I’ve always loved the thrill of the hunt for a hiding place – somewhere like the top of our linen closet with a quilt in front of me so that no one will ever find me or inside of a cabinet. I’m not the type to hide behind doors – it’s one area where I’m pretty competitive. Where can I hide that no one will find me? One time while playing hide-and-seek I hid in my closet inside the skirt of one of my dresses. I won that round.
Something about being completely cramped into a small space in the dark, all alone is enticing to me. I used to fantasize about having a false well in the back of my closet, behind which there was a long slide leading to a decked out panic room – just in case someone should intrude in the night.
I have a captain’s bed,which means that I have no under-the-bed but rather drawers on one side and a hollow tunnel on the other. (Maybe you can’t picture it from my description, but that’s okay. You’ll still get my point.) I remember pulling the head of my bed out from the wall when I was 12 and finally getting to re-paint my room – instead of having a birthday party… a small sacrifice to get to scrape the stuffed animal tea party wallpaper (which was very cute, and very 4 years old) off of my walls. That was when I discovered the tunnel-like cavern under my bed. I remember telling my mom that it would have been a great place to hide Jews during WWII.
I think that was fairly soon after I read The Diary of Anne Frank.
Before that, when I was about 9 and Brooke was 12, we made a club. It was called the Secret Sisters Club. We had membership cards. (Why it had to be a secret, I’m not sure. The fact that we’re sisters has never been a secret… and I’m pretty sure our parents would have been fine with us making a club.) We had codes.
Brooke nods, and we meet in 30 minutes to play with my Fisher Price Grand Prize Doll House.
Again, I don’t know why we had to use a code.
Did I mention we had a secret meeting spot?
It’s in the same place as the above picture.
Yes, Brooke and I had a meeting place in my closet. We pushed all my clothes over to the middle of my closet and cleared a space on the floor. Then we hung up a Princess Diaries poster and some little club memorabilia. Then we hung a flashlight from a hanger overhead using some rubber bands and called it our hideout.
Yep, it’s still there, Brooke. I was wondering about that today, so I crawled in the little space, over my sleeping bag and various notebooks and old Halloween costumes. It’s maybe a 2-foot square. And the two of us would hang out in there.
I don’t know if you can read that list or the dates we went in there and what we did on those dates, but one of them says “cut out paper dolls,” and I’m not entirely sure how we did that. Sometimes I wonder if other kids were as strange as we were. And if they had as much fun. Weird and unusual we may have been, but we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly – until I would rearrange the furniture in the GPDH (I’m sorry if you’re not completely up on our cool lingo, that means “doll house” :P) and Brooke would get mad and leave.
My heart has a special place for all those fond memories. I firmly believe that those special bonding moments helped to make our relationship the way it is today. Brooke is my hiding place, my safe refuge. Though in other places I may be insecure or uncomfortable, in her I have a sanctuary.
We are the runaway ballerinas, the mermaids of the community center pool, the hosts of a cooking show where the blender was named Barbara, the writers of stories with beanie babies as the protagonists, the sharers of secrets of the heart, and the ones who laugh for hours about incredibly stupid things.
“In thee, my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend.” and the hiding place.