Hide and Seek
I remembered my school days and how some of us bolder students played hide and seek in the maze of rooms, tunnels, and courtyards of Le Mont St Michel. We had a grand old time, until Herr Schutz found out. He was a very unimpressed Herr Schutz. I got into trouble and had to sit out the following day writing an essay about why I must not play hide and seek in the Monastery.
Günter gazed at the grandeur, his eyes glistening. I sensed sadness.
I had an idea and slipped behind some thick curtains while Günter pored over some huge leather-bound book. I did not know if my plan would work, but it was worth a try.
Günter turned around. His eyebrows knitted together in a searching look. He glanced around the room, darting his eyes in every corner, like a cat hunting prey.
I tried not to laugh, but a snort escaped. I would have to move to keep one step ahead.
I peeked through the curtains and noticed Günter had disappeared. ‘Ah, he thinks I’ve gone to another room,’ I said.
I ran and ducked into the adjoining room. The room was Günter-less. After side-stepping some walls, I tried another room. Still no Günter.
I heard footsteps, which sounded as though they were going upstairs. Up the stairs I went, poking my head into rooms along the way. No Günter in any of them.
A door shut to a room near the top. Determined to catch him, I decided to wait around the corner, and jump in front of him when he walked out of the door, and say, ‘Boo’.
The minutes ticked by. I filed my nails with one eye on the door. I gazed out of the slotted window at the lavender sea. How far does the water go out and how many meters does it rise, with two moons tugging at its tides? The waves tempted me. With each roll they beckoned, ‘Surf me! Surf me!’ They appeared the right height, gently breaking with white froth cascading gradually down the side. If I could get hold of a surf-board, I would try to surf.
I turned to door-watch. Günter appeared half a meter away from me. With a start, I dodged past him and bolted down the stairs. The banister promised a fast ride to the ground floor. Hopping side-saddle on the banister rail, I slid the remaining trip down. I don’t know what they clean the banister with, or what they put on as polish, but I sailed down like the wind. Momentum took over and I accelerated out of control. Even the curves did not stop the speed.
‘Oh God!’ I cried. Must say prayers but I was going too fast to think of any.
I tried to stem the speed by gripping my hands on the rail. No use. I tried dragging my feet. Gravity was in full control. I whizzed to my end at blinding speed. The steps passed in a blur. I hoped the front door was open so that I could keep running after I flew off the rails. And if the door was closed? I won’t go there. Messy end…not to mention…Ouch!
I jettisoned across the room and hit someone near the door. I correct myself; someone caught me.
As I hit them, they went ‘Umph!’ I temporarily winded whoever it was. My mind buzzed with adrenalin. Was the person Günter? How did he get down there?
His arms wrapped around me. His body shook with laughter. That was a good sign.
‘Boo!’ he whispered in my ear and then kissed my neck. My mind was hazy, frozen in the moment of recovery. Was this a dream? Had I fallen asleep? Who am I? This situation between Günter and me was natural, wasn’t it? I had some vague recollection of just being friends, but I was right at home with Günter holding me. I didn’t want to move.
Our eyes connected. For some time, I trembled in his embrace.
He cupped my face in his hands. ‘You like taking risks, Holly.’
‘Oh, my—this is real? I’m not—? I flew down the—?’
‘Of course it’s real! What did you think it was?’ Gunter’s face was close to mine. I was comfortable with him holding me. It was as though a part of me had been missing and was now reattached.
He began to run his fingers through my locks, clearing strands of it from my stunned face. ‘Günter, what are you doing?’ I came to my senses.
‘Er—Hum!’ Someone coughed. The door creaked open. ‘Günter! What are you doing here?’
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature photo: Windsurfing at Seacliff © L.M. Kling 2016
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