When I was a kid, I was really good at hiding. Not only when we played hide and seek, but I would hide anytime and people would have to search for me. Sometimes the game would go on much longer than expected, for hours and then i’d get scared of coming out because it would mean a grounding so I would just crouch deeper wherever I was and pretend to have fallen asleep when someone found me. Most times it was fun but sometimes when we were actually playing hide and seek and I would hide and after a while mom or my sister or my dad would forget that we were still playing. But i would still be in game mode, I would still keep hiding and sometimes it would be hours before anyone remembered I was missing. I never knew when to come out of game mode myself. I would remain, there, in anticipation, and anticipation would turn to boredom and then annoyance and then dread, a knot in the stomach that just wouldn’t untie even hours after I was found again.
Some days I feel I have crouched again behind the sofa waiting to be found. Some days I feel I am still in game mode. Soon someone will say gotcha and we will laugh out aloud and go back to playing. Nothing else can explain this knot.
The only person who can find me is myself.