A Game of Hide and Seek

With adrenaline rushing through me, I was most fervently searching for an adequate hiding space. It was everything which was abhorrent! I was supposed to be doing productive activities, studying, to be exact, not being roped into playing a game of hide and seek with a group of immature children having nothing else to do.

In a way, it was my fault for being indignant when my sister and her friends had dared declare me too old and dull to be able to enthusiastically participate in hide and seek but that was of little consequence. The real point is, they had behaved abominably towards me and I was fiercely determined to win this game to prove to them that I am, indeed, most definitely, not too old to be playing!

I felt the sound of footsteps resting near my ears.

I stiffened.

The sound, not lingering for much longer, slowly slithered away. I relaxed and inspected my surroundings carefully like an Eagle hunting for its next prey. Only, I was hunting for the perfect hiding spot.

My effort finally seemed to pay off when I got to meet, at a corner, a formidable-looking bush. I did not think my sister would be so daring as to approach this place, so I could consider myself safe while hiding here.

After just a few seconds of me placing myself into the security of the bush [ironic, considering that it looked as if it ate children for breakfast], I heard the, normally cute, giggling of my sister. It had been quite close, at first but grew fainter and fainter as she checked places which were a healthy distance from my bush. My heart starts jumping as her footsteps grow closer again. I could see from the little gaps in the bush that she was currently scrutinizing the nearby bushes to the left of my bush; she must have been searching in circles.

I unconsciously put a hand on my chest to stop my heart from breaking my ribcage and getting out. But try as I might, I was not able to stop it from beating incredibly fast. I feared my sister would be able to hear it and catch me.

The heat was emitting off me. Sweat was rolling down my forehead. My breathing had laboured.

Yet, at this moment, I felt as if my blood had chilled. I felt cold. I felt dread in the pit of my stomach. And I felt pure terror pulsing through my veins.

Somewhere in the back of my, originally rational, mind, I knew it was unreasonable. It was just a game, after all. Therefore, it was fully okay to lose but if I knew myself at all, I would not have taken kindly to losing had it been all a pretence and since it was not, losing was also not an option. So, I sat there, immobilized, holding my breath and waiting for her to, hopefully, pass by.

They say 'Patience is a virtue' and in this case, it proved to be so.

She did not survey the frightening-looking bush. She went away instead. I slumped down in relief, feeling that a huge burden being taken off me and I waited until my sister announced defeat.

I did not have to wait long.

After my sister did shout that she was giving up as she could not find me anywhere, I stepped out of the bush and went towards her with a wide silly smile on my face.

I knew I looked quite, well, silly but did I care one whit?

No.

Shaking her head patronizingly, she looked at me in exasperation. "Just couldn't let it go, could you?"

Unperturbed, I shrugged and turned away, leaving the meadow with a skip in my steps.

At that moment, I was on cloud nine, relishing my victory. Even my sudden remembrance of the stack of worksheets I had gotten from school was not enough to falter the permanently-fixed, wide, blissful smile on my face.