The Cheat

Written by Brooke Fenton |
Published on:

The cheat 


Tears streamed chaotically down my weary face. The more I linger on the past, the more unbearable the pain becomes. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You weren’t meant to cheat. You promised me! 

My life drastically changed when I heard those damned words, ‘sorry, she’s gone.’ That wasn’t allowed. Not in my rules. 

I take a moment, clenching my eyes and count down from ten to one. Making sure to say every number aloud for you to hear. 


Ten teddies standing tall, ready to protect you when you play your games. Watch out, they know when you don’t play by the rules. 


Nine perfectly parallel pictures hang proudly on the walls, ready to make you smile once the game was over. 


Eight dainty dummies washed and waiting to soothe you if you lose. 


Seven storybooks, unopened, awaiting the end of the game to read you to sleep. But not if you cheat, they don’t like that, they want you to practice your lines. 


Six stars strategically placed around the room, shining brightly and lighting up the room ready for your triumphant victory. 


Five pairs of petite, pink booties raring to go to help you run as fast as lightning to get you to the best hiding spots. Stay out of mummies room though, that’s not allowed. 


Four hand-knitted cardigans hung up waiting to keep you warm on the cold winter mornings. The start of the day when you finally get to play. 

Life is all one big game of hide and seek. You get those who play by the rules and those who like to be cheeky and bend them. We spend our precious childhood chasing butterflies and daringly dreaming of being astronauts, for it all to come crashing down to earth when one person doesn’t play by the rules. 


Three moments. Three little words and your life can change forever. 

I still remember the day as if it was yesterday. I was three and everyone else around me pretending like it was nothing. What a load of cheats. I knew you were hiding. 

It’s been twelve years and you’re still hiding. 

That’s not how you play. 

Found you. Or so I thought. A glimmer of hope, gone like the seasons changing.  


Two chances to give you a hug, a hello, a goodbye. A few moments is all I’m asking for. If you can break the rules, why can’t I? I just want to know you’re still here. 

All there needs to be is a child’s voice, your voice, shouting ‘you found me!’ for it all to go away. That little girl’s voice I long to hear. 


One single heartbeat that never came home. 

Tears streamed chaotically down my weary face. It wasn’t meant to be this way. You weren’t supposed to cheat and not be found.  

Copyright ©

Author: Brooke Fenton
Teenager who loves writing about her personal experiences and using past/ present trauma to harness those emotions


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