Monday, March 15, 2010

The Box

My family likes to tell a story about me and a box; but they never tell it right. See to them it's funny, it's meant to embarrass me in some way because, well what kid actually hides in a box?
The story usually goes like this: Ha ha remember that time Sara hide in that box and we couldn't find her? How we looked everywhere and turns out she was in a box the whole time? Yeah, so if you ever can't find Sara, ha ha, look through your boxes.
Ba dum bum!
That sure is a cute story. (insert sarcasm)
No, see they have it all wrong, and by all wrong I mean I knew exactly what I was doing. There was a reason I was hiding and they couldn't find me.
This is my story about the day I hid in a box.
I was 12 years old and life was not pleasant. Our Mom had just kicked our Dad out of the house, my body was changing and I had know idea what that meant and things with my sister were at an all time low.
Because my Mom's focus was no longer on our Dad, she turned it on Sherri, who, you know at 14, all she wanted to do was sneak out and sneak around with boys. So being grounded kinda screwed up her life, and since her life was screwed, she thought it best to take me down with her, or at least make me more miserable then she was.
Often times Mom wasn't home. I would get locked up under the stairs so Sherri wouldn't have to look at me. When she was feeling generous she'd let me stay out and endure her constant swearing and belittling me. How stupid I was, how ugly I was, how my body was gross and there for no boy would ever want me.
Yep, good times.
Sherri was allowed to babysit in our neighborhood. Since she was older she got all the calls. But I wasn't allowed to stay home alone, for whatever reason, Mom never allowed this. So if Sherri had to go babysit, I had to go with.
The kids always liked me better, I played with them, I comforted them, I read to them and tucked them in. All the while Sherri would be on the phone. Then she started inviting her friends over and hanging out outside, while I was inside tending to the kids. Then she realized, hey I don't need to be here, Sara does just fine and all I need to do is come back and collect the money.
This happened over and over again, and when I tried to tell my Mom she would say "Oh Sara, Sherri doesn't leave you in charge. It's not your job, so you won't be paid."
I hated being treated like a kid. I hated when I wasn't believed. I hated being taken advantage of.
Mom was away for a weekend and Sherri was left in charge. She also had a full schedule of babysitting to do. Which meant I had to go with, do all the work and not get a single cent for it.
I devised a plan. Knowing this was coming, I rearranged my room. I had a box in my room that I kept all of my stuffed animals in, it was the size of a rectangular toy chest without a lid. Weeks before this weekend, I turned that box upside down, cut out a little square and made it look like a make shift dog house. I placed a few stuffed animals inside the box and one large one right in the little door way. The rest I stacked on top of the box in a nice neat order. Weeks went by and finally the weekend that Mom was gone came. Sherri needed to be over at the B family's house at 2pm. I made sure she saw me eat lunch, after which she informed me I was to go NO WHERE, she was going to walk down and meet her friend and then when she got back we were going over to the B's house.
After she left, I went in my room, took all the animals off and out from under the box. I crawled inside and using the hole I replaced all the animals back on top of the box and replaced the big dog in the whole. I was completely concealed in the box. I could hear when she came home. When she looked around and couldn't find me, she was angry. She started looking everywhere, she called her friends to search the neighborhood, the friend that was there with her told her to try and get the smoke detector to go off thinking it would scare me out. I could hear everything they were saying, I was right there, you just couldn't see me. I just waited and waited and waited. Finally the phone rang and it was the family asking where she was. I knew she had to go, she knew she couldn't call Mom and she knew she would be suck babysitting that night instead of going out like she had planned.
Once the coast was clear I came out. I felt sheer triumph. I refused to answer the phone knowing it was Sherri trying to get a hold of me. Around 9pm I heard the garage door go up. I thought that was a bit early for Sherri to be home, usually it was till at least 10pm. In walked my Mom into the house. She was livid. My sister had called her and told her I ran away. Mother cut her trip short to come home and here I was watching a movie and eating popcorn and not where I was suppose to be.
I tried to tell her again about the babysitting and how I wasn't going to do it anymore and this way Sherri had to stay there. Mother marched me straight over to where Sherri was and demanded Sherri verify what I told her. Of course Sherri lied. So we waited for the parents to come home and My mom asked them if Sherri had been the babysitter. Of course they didn't know anything about it, because Sherri always made sure she was back in time to collect the money and act like she'd been there the whole time. I got a licking that night.
The next day the mother of the three kids came over to the house. She had told my mom that she talked to her kids and they told her that Sherri often left and that is was me that stayed and played with them. I was shocked. Finally someone believed me and there was proof.
She looked my sister in the face and told her exactly what she thought of Sherri and she would never let her babysit again, she also scolded her saying Sherri should pay me all the money back and she apologized to me for such a bad treatment and asked if I'd be their babysitter from now on.
Mother asked me again and again where I had been that day and I refused to tell. It wasn't until years later when I caught Sherri telling the story about how I had run away and she wished I had kept was then I told her I hadn't run away, I was in my room under the box. She had to think long and hard to remember what box I meant. She couldn't believe what a dumb hiding spot that was.
But see, it wasn't so dumb. Her schemes got busted, she got what was coming to her and I finally got freedom from her tyranny. All as a twelve year old girl, whom I happen to think was quite clever to plan that all out and fool someone older and "ahem" wiser.
Sure I'll hide in a box, if it means the truth will come out.


  1. that was very clever. And good for that mom who came over with the truth!

  2. I'm sorry your tweener years were tough. Thanks for sharing your story.


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