Remembering that hide n seek game and those series of emotions that flowed in the hidden light of the night’s darkness.
We were running frantically towards the end of the street. We had 30 more counts before he would open his eyes and would see us running, holding hands…
My heart was pounding, not just because we were running out of our breaths, but because we were running together. Without any prior planning, we both had simply looked at each other and at that second had decided that we were gonna hide together in this game.
She was holding my hand so tightly, almost pulling me along with her. Probably her excitement was more than mine, or probably her fear. She didn’t look back, towards her brother, who was counting with his eyes closed up against the tree. She was a rebel, and that day she showed it.
The count was almost complete. All of our other friends had already chosen their hiding place and were almost invisible unless, ofcourse you knew already their usual hiding place. We knew where everyone used to hide, quite easy to mark an area where each one of them used to hide. We were running towards a new area altogether.
He announced his hunt beginning with a roar, declaring that soon he’s gonna catch all of us.
I smiled. “Not us, not today.”
We took a sharp left at the end of the street and then a right and disappeared in the maze of turns, till when we reached a deserted neighborhood leading to a dead-end.
We looked for a place where we could hide, from everyone. There was an old van, rusting at the end of the street. It was dark, and probably this part of the neighborhood had no residents. Not even stray animals could be seen. Was it luck or something fishy; Mr. Fate’s prior warning before he hits hard, I thought.
We went behind the van. It was parked right ahead of a street parkbench, such that the bench was not visible in any way unless you move around the car all the way to its back.
We went and hid behind the bench. We felt like tiny people as we could easily be hidden behind the bench from head to toe.
She finally let go of my hands. Holding hands… So pure, simple, emotional, and sweaty… Uncomfortable.
I sat there rubbing my hands on my jeans, slowly wiping off the sweat of it. Just then, she grabbed my shirt and pulled it so hard that I was pulled along with it. She asked in an anxious tone “They won’t be able find us here, will they?”
I was about to shrug when she herself said “No they won’t. This is the perfect place.”
I continued staring at her. She was beautiful beyond my ability to describe her beauty. So I won’t. But yes, she was way beyond my league.
We sat there talking about various possibilities, fantasies about what could happen if they catch us here. She was not willing to become the seeker, no matter what. Almost all of her plans had me showing myself up and then taking the seeker with me, keeping her safe. So much for the game, I thought. But in the end, she will again say “Nah! I won’t let you go…”
Time passed, rather quickly than I thought (read ‘than I wanted’). She occasionally touched my hands, and I rather skillfully took my hands away. Hey! Don’t judge me! It was summer and I hated sweat. I’d rather prefer something equally emotional and direct, not involving sweat.
I think she sensed it too, as her lips had tightened and she was looking at me without blinking, from my eyes to my neck, and back. Her neck was tilted and I could almost hear her heart beats, which were risen way up above normal excitement level.
There was mumbling sound nearby and then a ruckus, and our whole gang, one after other, appeared out of nowhere in the street that we were hiding in. They were laughing at the seeker, who had been trying to find them since last half hour, but had no luck in doing that. (It was half an hour already?!!)
I saw them coming towards us, scanning and analyzing the street for some good hiding place, and then I saw her pale and disappointed face. She was looking at me, her expressions were hard to describe. But they said “Damn!”
I gave her the ‘its fine’ expression and she nodded.
We had not disclosed anything to each other yet about our desires or intentions or imaginations, but I think they would have been same for both of us. We couldn’t do what we wanted to do that day, but being 10 year old toddlers, we hardly cared. We soon blended with out friends and forgot the whole episode.
Now I don’t even remember what was it that we wanted to do that time, but it doesn’t matter. After all, what could possibly be in an innocent 10 year olds mind!?