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Monday, October 13, 2014

Hide and Not Seek

I grew up in a small town.
It was so small that my 8th grade graduation harbored 13 students, one of whom was skipping 8th grade to graduate with us.
There were not a lot of people whom I could choose from as friends as a child.

This is a single example of how poorly some of those options were.

Ben and Nick were two of the five boys in my class. I, obviously, was one of the remaining three.
Ben and Nick's mothers were close friends and they spent a great deal of time together. In fact they were the closest thing that either of them had to a sibling for each other.

This, of course, did not bode well for those who were to spend time with them.

I recall a specific point in time in which I was spending the day with them at Ben's mother's house.
We played for a bit and then we were left alone.
I cannot recall if it was Nick or Ben that suggested be go outside to play but it was one of them. After a short while they suggested we play "Hide and Seek" in the woods near, and surrounding, the house.

To me this seemed like a game that would work well for the three of us and wouldn't be something in which they could gang up on me, as they had a history of doing.

And I was right; they didn't gang up on me in the game at all.

They just didn't even play.

I was one of the two that was to go hide and I ran off into the woods and found a spot to hide in.

And I waited.
And waited.
And waited some more.
I peeked out from my hiding spot and saw no one; affirming that I had a good spot.
I waited.
And waited.
And peeked out again, this time listening to the dead silence of the world around me being, occasionally, broken by the sound of a passing car on a nearby road.

I began to wonder if I had, in fact, found a great hiding place or if some trickery were being played upon me so I departed my hidden den.

I quietly walked through the woods and approached the house.

I found that I had not really been selected to hide, but rather, to seek.

And I was suddenly successful in finding both Nick and Ben in their hiding spot.

Their hiding spot was sitting on the floor in front of the TV, playing Nintendo.

Here my memory of this event ends; but I know it was not the first, nor the last time that I was betrayed by the pair.
Yet, for lack of any other options I had to continue to play with them for the remainder of my childhood.

I find I occasionally wonder what level of damage such situations inflicted on my permanent psyche and whom I would be if I had not suffered at their hands so often.

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