Anna didn’t care to look in all the usual places.
She crept into her brother’s room. Crammed between books and clothes and music CDs and pens and sheets of paper were his shiny, new silver headphones. She wanted to try them on, but no, that’s not what she’d come for. Focus. She gagged on the stink in his room. There were dirty socks thrown under his desk and his laundry bag was full. What a messy room! But no matter where she looked, ‘it’ wasn’t there.
She peeked into the china cabinet. Mother’s best dinnerware was stacked like a pyramid. Dinner plates in a pile with side plates on top of that, then the soups bowls and finally the desert bowls. It all looked too dangerous to touch. Peering behind the tower and the rows of glasses and spoons and serving dishes proved futile too. ‘It’ wasn’t there.
She could try the medicine cabinet. She put out a little step ladder and climbed on. Rows of brown, green and yellow bottles of all different sizes met her eye. She nudged them all to one side and rummaged at the back. Nothing there!
There was nowhere else she could look now. She trudged back to her room, dejected. The longing for ‘it’ grew bigger and bigger until she couldn’t focus on anything anymore.
Her mother found her staring out the window when she returned home an hour later. “Well, aren’t you supposed to be studying, Anna?”
Anna was chewing on her pencil and dreaming about ‘it’: the soft sugar-coated cookie, crumbling in her mouth, its sugar melting on her tongue. “Where did you hide the cookies, ma?”
Mother did a facepalm. “Is that all you ever think of, Anna?”