I’M TRAPPED under a coffee table. The foster family are freaking out around me, believing I have run away.
Nah, I’m just hiding.
They have called the police and State Emergency Service for a search in the surrounding bush. It’s night time. They think I’m crazy enough to be running somewhere out there.
Actually, I am.
There’s no way I will reveal myself to them. I’m scared, but this experience is insightful.
Because I tried to run away a few weeks earlier but the police found me before I could get to the nearest town.
So where would they look first, how many police officers, when would they give up? These questions would be debated in the lounge and I would be the fly on the wall to hear them answered!
Amber the bird girl would claim later she always knew I was hiding under the coffee table. She saw me move, stretching my legs and fidgeting, she reckoned.
I don’t believe that. But she was the one to give me away.
Mum had sent me letters a few days before. These were letters of sadness, regret, expressions of love. But all I read was guilt, guilt, guilt. Her guilt. My guilt.
Amber remembered I was given these letters. Her logical conclusion to the room of people was that the content in the letters might have motivated me to run away. She read the letters loudly. Her tone seemed mocking over the moans of sympathy throughout the room.
I boiled. Lost control.
But I was too angry at them to get in real trouble. Still, I never pretended to run away again.