~Melanie~

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~Melanie~

After lunch, everyone disperses to clean up, to play some more Bocce, to go for a short hike on one of the nearby trails, or to swim in the cool lake water. I am grateful to get away from all the grandparents and adults; even though I'm also technically an adult at twenty-two, I want to stay as far away as possible from their prying questions and hang with the kids, or rather 'young adults', now. I can't believe the youngest is now also in college. I remember running around these fields with everyone not being taller than four feet...

I chuckle as I remember when Ethan had tripped in the woods that one time during the last game of hide and seek we were ever allowed to play. He couldn't have been more than ten-years-old. I had found him while trying to find a place to hide from Sean who, as the oldest of the group, had always been the first to seek when we hid.

My heart was racing as a huge grin spread across my face. I hopped over a fallen log as I landed with a soft thud in my light-up Sketchers sneakers and continued running through the woods behind the cabin.

I needed to find a hiding place as far away as possible. Last time we played, Sean had found me in minutes since I had hid near the cabin. I continued running further and further into the woods until I heard a yelp.

I skidded to a halt and looked to my left where I heard the yelp.

"Hello?" I called out.

I slowly walked that way as I began to hear soft cries.

Leaning against the back of a mossy tree was Ethan, holding his knee to his chest with tears in his eyes.

"What happened?" I asked.

Ethan quickly wiped the tears out of his eyes, "I fell."

"Are you okay?"

I bent down and saw the skin on his knee was torn and turning red, but there was no blood. Dirt caked the torn skin and I tried to brush it off.

"I'm fine," Ethan grunted as he quickly turned away from me.

"Come on, let's find a better hiding spot," I said as I looked in the direction of the cabin and vaguely saw it through the litter of trees. "Sean will spot you in a second."

I stood up and offered my hand to him. He took it and I pulled him up. We continued to hold hands as we began to slowly walk further into the woods. Eventually, we came across a thick fallen log.

"Let's hide behind here. He'll never spot us if we lie down," I suggested.

Ethan chuckled with a grin as we helped each other cautiously climb over the thick log. I smiled back, happy to see he was okay.

Sean never did find us, and, eventually, he had all the parents and cousins calling our names looking for us. We had heard them, but didn't want to lose the game, so we stayed put giggling like two idiots.

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