She’s found a perfect spot this time. I really can’t find her. Not in any of the places she’s been before, none of the usual suspects. I’m impressed.
There’s one spot in the hall where the floorboard is squeaky. It always makes her laugh, so I put my foot on it and lean my weight back and forth. The hee-hawing of the creaky floor is the only sound in our small row house, until finally I hear her laughing.
Front closet, under shelf. She’d covered herself with her mother’s trench coat. I’d forgotten it was still there, the spring weight one, egg shell blue, the one I couldn’t get rid of, so pretty with her eyes.
“So there you are!”
My daughter squeals, “No fair!”
But she’s giggling and I rush to throw my arms around her, pull her out from under. Her foot snags on the coat disrupting the shelf. A small box of books topples to the floor. Paperbacks spread out at our feet.
One catches her eye, the title, Diary of a Young Girl. The therapist has been showing her how to keep one. “Look Daddy, there’s a diary like the one I’m writing for Mommy.”
She mispronounces, says “Anne,” like it rhymes with “Rain.” I don’t correct her. I say it too, the same way, and repack the books back into the small box. Set them up on the shelf. I tell her to go hide again. By the time I’ve closed the door, she’s gone.