Hiding Place

Audiobook Version

             Lydia rubbed her hands together, her hands trembling from the bitter cold as she waited outside. Lydia’s mother told her to remain outside until she was done conducting what she considered “adult activities”. Lydia knew her mother was high on heroin again. Lydia’s mother was most likely passed out from the effects of the drug. Lydia’s mother had a habit of keeping the door locked when she would kick Lydia out of the house to get high or have her drug dealer boyfriend over.

                                 Lydia took a walk to the woods near her house. Lydia figured if she was going to be outside, she may as well go somewhere else. It wasn’t like her mother knew or cared where she was anyhow. Lydia’s shivering hands remained in her pockets while she continued the trek further into the pitch-black depths of the woods.  The night enveloped Lydia in a blanket of darkness as she continued to walk deeper. Lydia walked on as if she had nothing to fear from the unknown woods. She felt safer here than with her mother.

              Lydia continued her journey forward until she stood facing the entrance of a small cave. The hole was too small for any adult to fit in, but Lydia was small enough to enter. Lydia gave herself a moment to smile before entering the hole. Lydia had to crawl for a few moments in a small passageway before being able to stand again. She walked through the darkness unable to see anything for a while. Fortunately, Lydia didn’t have to see since she knew this cavern too well to feel the need to see. As Lydia walked onward, she could finally see a faint hint of light. She walked closer to it until the light started to illuminate the entirety of the path including Lydia herself. Lydia walked faster with eager excitement towards the light wearing a bright smile across her face. Whatever bothered Lydia previously was no longer present in her mind when she made it to the source of the illumination.

           The open area Lydia entered was the center of a skylight cavern. There was a small island surrounded by a small body of water that resembled a moat. The body of water’s depth only reached up to Lydia ankle making her able to walk through without difficulty. On the island was a collection of boxes, dolls, and other mementos of Lydia’s past. There was also a sleeping bag Lydia would use whenever she needed to sleep somewhere warm. Her mother’s habit of kicking her out of the house to indulge in her heroin binges caused Lydia to become more self-reliant. Lydia made a habit of collecting her things and bringing them to the skylight cave’s island. The skylight cave became her room. It was the one place she could rely on to keep herself away from her mother’s abusive rage. Lydia bundled herself up in the sleeping bag while staring at pictures of her father.

                 Lydia shed tears staring at the pictures of her father with her at the local carnival. Lydia’s life with her father was one of joy and cherished memories. That changed when her parents got divorced and Lydia’s mother gained custody despite being unfit for motherhood. The heroin became her life once Lydia’s mother started receiving child support. She never made time for Lydia unless she needed something done around the house or wanted someone to yell at. Lydia’s mother made it a point to let Lydia know that she hated her regularly. As far as Lydia was concerned, the house she lived in wasn’t a home. It was a prison.

             Lydia held the picture of her with her father close to her chest, hugging it as she looked towards the sky. Lydia vowed that someday she would be free from her mother’s grasp. Lydia would make sure she left her mother’s house to be reunited with her father. Lydia would go where she was loved, not where she was used. Lydia held the picture as though it would run away if she let go. The tears flowed down her face as she looked up with determination in her eyes. She was going to make her move and run away from her mother’s house when her mother was away for one of her heroin runs. It was her best shot. Until then, Lydia’s only desire was sleep. She snuggled herself within the warmth of the sleeping bag and let the night embrace her like she did so many times before.

Until the next daydream……..

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