Overheard

Lily squeezed into the cupboard, under the stairs, and hid herself behind the coats. Her heart was beating so loudly she was scared that might give her away. She was also petrified she’d be discovered and asked what on earth she was doing.

Lily wanted to overhear what was said about her. It took a while before anyone in the family noticed she wasn’t there.

‘Have you seen Lily’, asked her Mum eventually.

‘Uh, no,’ said her Dad, ‘Has she gone up to her bedroom?’

‘Lily’, her Mum called up the stairs. No answer. They looked for her for a bit and then gave up and carried on unperturbed.

Lily’s heart was racing, as she’d have to get out of her hiding place at some point and wander in nonchalantly, with some believable explanation as to where she’d been. In the meantime, she stayed put and listened. In fact, nothing of interest was said the whole time she hid.

That night, Lily tried a different ploy. She crept downstairs to listen at the door to the living room, where her parents were. They had the radio on, and her mum would be knitting, and her dad would be doing the crossword. They always came up to bed at 10pm, so, she could sit and listen for over an hour. But she couldn’t hear anything. Either the radio was drowning out their conversation, or they weren’t actually saying anything.

What Lily didn’t actually know, but sensed nevertheless, was that there was a huge secret, though at the time she had no idea what it was. It was only years later, after she found out she was adopted, that she made sense of her weird behaviour.

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