He’s not very good at hiding. He could be if he wanted to be. But he doesn’t want to be. Not at all. He refuses to hide properly. But he loves playing games, so he always joins in.
“… 19, 20. Coming, ready or not!” I open my eyes, ready to begin the hunt … And he’s standing there, right in front of me. His eyes wide with excitement and friendship. His hands cover his mouth holding back his raucous laughter. I smile at him and he bursts and doubles over with the thrill of being found. His laughter and his joy are infectious. He catches his breath just enough to say, “I’m not very good at hiding, am I!?!” “No.” I retort, “No, you’re not. Not at all.”
Then it’s my turn to hide. His face turns white. He pleads with me not hide from him. He desperately suggests a thousand other things we could do together; A million incredible adventures. But, I insist on hiding. I run from him as I feel his voice fade. I find a dark place. A well-known place. The solitude feels good, for a moment, as it wraps around me. I cover my eyes. I hold myself secure in my independence. I reassure myself of decisions in the shadows and hold my breath. I’m hidden but not as well as I think I am. Hidden but not as well as my shame deserves. I feel his breath but refuse to acknowledge his presence with me. I feel his touch but insist I am hidden and alone and fine. I hear his voice and cover my ears. His warmth … I cover my heart. His love … I keep it locked in my mind. His compassion … I fill my hiding place with distraction. I am alone.
But I’m not alone. You see, the problem is, he’s not very good at hide and seek. He refuses to let me hide on my own. I sit there thinking I’m hidden and he is sitting with me. Sitting with me in my lostness and confusion. Sitting with me, waiting with me. I sit eyes closed, so tight. And because I cannot see him I think he is not there. I resist the truth. I think I’ve won.
Then … eventually … I open my eyes. And, he’s sitting there, right in front of me. His eyes wide with excitement and flooded with friendship. His hands cover his mouth holding back his raucous laughter. I smile at him and he bursts and doubles over with the thrill of my being found. His joy is infectious. I’m held in his arms as he catches his breath just enough to say, “You’re not very good at hiding, are you!?!” “No.” I retort, “I thought I could do it but I can’t!”