Secrets: A Short Story
I crawled into my hiding spot, sliding the board in the wall back into place as I went. My hiding spot was my special place, I took no one there, not even my sister. It was where I kept my secrets. I had boxes and boxes of secrets. The rock I found at the river. (I was sure it was gold.) The sand from my favorite beach was here, as was my first tooth. I made a beeline for my favorite treasure of them all though, it was the letter I found of my mother’s from my father. I never knew my mother, but for some reason this letter made me feel as if I did.
I read it again, getting to my favorite part, “your hair the color of sunshine, and your spirit as free as the wolves.” It was a love letter and my father was a bit of a poet. I felt close to my mother reading this line as my hair was also the color of sunshine, and I liked to think of myself as a free spirit and seeing how much trouble I got in by going my own way all the time, I would say that it was true. I liked to think I was like her.
Satisfied with myself, I put the letter away, reaching for my notebook and paper. Besides keeping secrets, my hiding spot was for writing. I wrote little snips of my favorite quotes that I heard throughout the day and today I had a good one. I caught my sister kissing her boyfriend, and she called me a snivelling sneet. I didn’t know what it was, but I thought it should go in my book today. I had tried looking up sneet in the dictionary and couldn’t find it. I had a whole book dedicated to words my sister made up. She was quite good at it. Normally she didn’t use her made up words to call me names, so I know I had probably embarrassed her this time.
I put away my book and stretched out, wondering what it must be like to kiss a boy. It looked messy, and after a minute of thought I shook my head of it, realizing it was something I just couldn’t imagine. I thought instead about my cat, Elvira. Elvira was getting old and I was worried about her. She was the only one allowed in my hiding spot. I even had a little bed for her. She wasn’t here now though. I had spotted her earlier outside lazing around in the sun. She looked okay from outward appearances, but when she walked she sometimes dragged her back leg and I didn’t know what was wrong. I had a book on cats, but it didn’t say anything about this particular problem.
A knock came on the wall, “I know you’re in there!” I froze. It was my sister, Becca. “Come out already, or I am coming in!”
I wasn’t concerned until she mentioned coming in, I knew she meant it. “Go away!” I yelled back.
“Not after I caught you spying on me! Come out or,” Becca said. “I’m going to tell Dad what you did to the wall!”
She’s said this threat to me before, so I didn’t believe her, and I wasn’t ready to come out yet so I just ignored her.
“Fine.” I heard her say in her most sarcastic.
I stayed still in my hiding spot. Choosing to ignore her, I closed my eyes.
Knock, knock, knock came the sound from the wall. “Go away, Becca.” I said.
“I don’t think so Julie.” a deep voice said. I sat upright, it was my dad! Oh my gosh, she’d really done it. She told on my hiding spot. I scooted far back in the corner waiting for the inevitable scolding.
“I’m coming in,” Dad said, and after a little manuevering, and no help from me the boards were moved away from the wall and there sat my dad squatting down, peering at all my treasures. I was horrified. My secrets were exposed! My sister stood just behind him smirking at me.
My Dad picked up one object after another carefully without saying a word. I sat with bated breath just watching like a hawk as all my treasures were handled. I was frightened of what he’d think of them. That’s when he saw it, the folded letter. My most precious piece.
He picked it up, unwrapping it carefully, then sat in silence reading his own words in front of me. I stared, frightened he’d take it from me. My only thing of my Mother’s. Instead he very carefully folded it back up, and wordlessly put it back. He glanced at me with glistening eyes, but he didn’t say a word. He just nodded, backed out of my space and started putting the boards back in place.
My sister protested, but he said quietly, “hush.”
That was when I knew my hiding spot was safe.