Last year I woke up and didn’t see my brother.
He slept across the room from me, but that morning he wasn’t there. No one knew where he’d gone. Not Mama. Not Papa. Not even the maid who picked up my toys when I wasn’t looking. A lot of people came and looked for him. They looked around the house. They looked in the woods outside. I could see them through the window. They even tried to look in the attic, but there were nails in the door. After a while, we couldn’t find him and gave up.
I didn’t miss him.
He’d been older than me and only talked about girls. He wasn’t any fun.
Besides, now there was no one to split dessert with. No one to have to share my toys with. No one else to distract Mama and Papa. Maybe, it’d be nice to have him to play with, but the maid tells me stories and Papa gives piggyback rides, so I really don’t miss him.
Papa was tough. Papa took it okay.
Mama looked out the window more after he left and she cried a lot even though she hadn’t hurt herself. I checked every time. She told stories about him. He never started a fight. He always picked up his messes. It wasn’t true, but Papa wouldn’t let me tell her that. Papa said it was the only time she smiled. She only looked at me and cried.
Mama wasn’t fun anymore.
Last week, Mama went missing too.
Papa was really worried. He called the police and they looked everywhere she could have gone. They checked the garage, but the car was still there. They looked through the cupboards and flowerbeds, but nothing was out of place. They even checked the bathroom, but they didn’t find anything. You don’t hide things in the bathroom.
They never checked the attic. They said it was sealed.
Plus, the maid lives up there.
Papa’s started looking out the window a lot. I like to watch him to see what he’ll do if he sees me. Sometimes he looks scared, like me when I wake up at night and see our maid on the ceiling above me. Usually, he just calls me over and talks to me. It’s fun, I guess, but he doesn’t give piggyback rides anymore.
I miss the piggyback rides.
Sometimes I miss Mama and I get a little sad, but the maid tells me stories. Most of them are fun. She won’t when Papa’s around, so we wait until Papa’s asleep. She tells the stories until I get bored, then she plays hide and seek with me. She says that I’m the only one who ever found her –when she was picking up my trucks and hiding Legos in the corners of the house. She says that’s why she plays with me. She says that she can teach me to hide good enough that no one will ever find me.
I ask her if that’s what Mama and my brother are doing.
She says no. She says that they weren’t good at hide and seek, that when you’re not good at a game you can’t keep playing.
I ask her if Papa is good at it. She says she doesn’t know but she doesn’t think so. I tell her that I bet he is.
I’ve been hiding for three days now, and Papa can’t find me. He can’t even find the maid and she’s just been standing behind him for most of the day. She told me last night that Papa wasn’t very good. She didn’t want him playing anymore. I guess today’s his last chance, but that’s okay.
The maid’s more fun anyway.