The corner of the room was empty, a single chair stood in the darkness. The child sat down and observed the room around her. It was filled with happy adults, singing and drinking.
It was her birthday, yet the adults didn’t seem to mind her too much. She tried to talk to them, asked them to play with her, but they shushed her away every time. She crossed her arms in silence.
When it was time for the cake, she was nowhere to be seen. The adults went into a frantic hysteria, looking for her inside the house, in the garden, throughout the neighborhood. The police was called; they brought dogs trained to find people.
She sat on that chair for hours, in the dark corner, observing the commotion, the nervousness, the tears.
When the police left and the neighbors, relatives and friends went home, she emerged from the corner to the great joy of all who simply couldn’t believe she was right there, safe and well. They hugged her, kissed her, and she had all the attention she had wanted.
That was only the beginning. Today she is over forty years old and she still disappears into the darkness every now and then. No one understands why, because no one tried to recall that first time.