TITLE: Caught in the Dark 08/27/2019
By Kathy Staton
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The two young girls crept down the carpeted, semi-lit hallway towards the last room on the right. They stopped in front of a slightly open door.
“Meg, are you sure we should be doing this?” Dani Sullivan asked her best friend, Meg Brown. Dani slipped her phone out of her pocket. “Ten o’clock?! My mother will kill me!”
Meg rolled her eyes. “Dani, stop acting like a baby. Your mother is NOT going to kill you. Ground you, maybe…”
“Thanks a lot!”
Meg placed a small black camera case on the closet shelf. “Just need to make sure I get this in the same place it was in before I borrowed it.”
“Borrowed…? I think you borrow something after you get permission to use it.”
Meg looked at Dani. “You’re not going to give me a lecture now, are you?”
“Who, me? But since you mentioned it…”
“Mom and Dad lecture me on everything. I don’t need it from my friends.”
“Okay, but don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.”
As they turned to leave, they heard muffled voices outside the room.
Meg drew in a sharp breath. “Oh, no! It’s Mom and Dad…quick, in here!” They ducked inside the closet, then heard the door open.
A moment later, bath water was running. Then the closet door opened, flooding light into the scared faces of two young girls.
“What in the world—?”
Meg’s mother stared at the girls.
“What’s the matter, Sarah?”
A middle-aged man with graying temples appeared from the bathroom doorway. He saw his daughter and best friend standing in their closet.
Meg thoughts raced inside her mind. Suddenly she had an idea.
Meg pasted a big grin on her face.
"Mom? Dad? I bet you're wondering why I'm in your closet, huh? I was trying to find a good place to hide your anniversary present. Dani was just helping me."
Meg's dad crossed his arms in front of his chest. His left eyebrow rose. "Really? Our anniversary was three months ago. You already gave us your gift .”
Meg swallowed. “It’s for next year,” she said in a small voice.
“Where is it?”
“Umm…..”Sweat broke out on Meg's forehead. Boy, it's hot in here!
Meg looked down at the floor. “I….I’m sorry, Dad. There's no gift. I borrowed your camera so I could take some pictures outside for class. I was just putting the camera away.”
“Did you ask us first if you could borrow it?”
“You were too busy,” Margaret said. “I didn’t think you'd mind.”
“You took something and used it without asking.”
Meg's mother looked at Dani. “Your mother is downstairs waiting for you.”
“I’ll call you later, Dani,” Meg called after her.
As soon as Dani was out of sight, Meg’s father said, “We’ll discuss your punishment in the morning. Now go to bed.”
Meg nodded her head, turned to leave, then stopped. She turned around, saw the look of disapproval on her dad’s face, then walked to her room. Her head hung down as she walked to her room. With every step, it seemed like an eternity before she slipped
inside, leaned back on the closed door and sighed. "Oh, boy, I’ve done it now!"
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