Pretending to run away and how it escalated quickly

ONE time I pretended to run away. It was funny because they thought I really did run away. And the Department of Community Services freaked out and stuff.

Classic prank.

Except it was a bad thing to do.

I was only hiding to get out of trouble.

First I squeezed behind a couch in the lounge when my friend Amber went to my foster mother’s room to dob on me. I was close enough to hear the conversation behind the wall.

“So where is he?” Hazel asked.

“I don’t know, he was right behind me,” Amber said.

They searched my room, and then the front and back yards. I stayed where I was, nervous now that I was going to be in more trouble when they did find me.

Then they phoned the Department of Community Services. “Good,” I thought. “This should be funny.” I changed my hiding place, from the back of the couch to underneath the coffee table in the corner. The sides were hidden by two couches. If I wasn’t a skinny 10-year-old there would be no way I could have hidden there.

Nothing much happened for about half an hour. Then someone said, “check behind the couches.” They didn’t find me.

The DOCS case worker arrived. It was night now. Everyone at the foster home sat in the couches and sipped on coffee as I listened.

“We’ll call the police and state emergency workers and they’ll be searching the bush in an hour,” the case worker said, and everyone murmured their worry.

Ron Burgundy meme

I was freaking out.

There was no way I was going to climb out and say “jokes!” because my foster mother might kill me.

And I was also curious to see how this chaos would play out.

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