He didn’t see her. She was hiding in the closet amongst dresses and shirts. Old shoes piled up. Boxes with Christmas decorations in them.
Come out, come out, where ever you are, the young man said. I know you’re here. You never leave, he lit a cigarette. You think I won’t find you? I always find you, he laughed. I got something for you, he took a package out of a bag. I think you’ll like it, he started walking around the trailer. Noticed there was a pot of coffee turned on. Is this fresh brewed? he asked. Did you make this for us? she started breathing heavy. He could hear her as he walked down the hallway. He sat on the bed facing the closet. Are you done with this? This game you play, took a gulp of coffee. I brought you a present. I’m going to lay it right here on the bed. When you feel like coming out, you come out. Hear me? she sat there in darkness.
An hour passed. He had the TV on. Watching Wild Kingdom. Watching how lions protect their cubs. He heard no movement in the back room. Turned the sound down. Poured another cup of coffee. Kept looking at the screen. The picture was coming in funny. Colored lines were running through the jungle; static. The young man got up and adjusted the rabit ears. Pointed them north.
Nothing works ’round here, he said. You notice that? How nothing works. It’s a miracle I got a cup of coffee. Would you just come out here? Open up that box on the bed and come out here, he said. There was no noise. Not a sound.
The television picture came back on. Now they were showing monkeys in their natural habitat. They too protected their young. He heard the closet door open. Heard the ruffling of paper.
You like it? he called back to her. I thought of you when I saw it. Was thinking you’d like it, he made his way back to the bedroom. Try it on, he said. Go on. Give it a twirl, the young girl looked at the dress. She began shredding it with her bare hands. Ripping it in two. Yelling and screaming. Uncontrollably crying.
That’s the thanks I get, the father said. You get back in that closet, he said. Come out when you have a different attitude, she crawled on all fours towards the door. No no. You get back in there. Not dealing with this today, he told his daughter.
He picked her up and placed her back in the closet. Shut the door. He could hear her sobbing as he went back to the front room. The television was blurred again.
Doesn’t anything ’round here work?