There used to be a place that was just for me… and for whoever I wanted.

It was my parents’ closet, sure, but it was also my hideout.

Stinky Foot Club was what I called it.

Only my close cousin, sister, neighborhood friend, and I were allowed, but I usually took them in separately since it got cramped in there.

With a bunch of clothes and thrown-out bedsheets, I made myself comfortable by hiding in the corner, covering myself behind some hung clothes and relaxing on the bedsheets.

Sometimes I took a flashlight in there and lit my palm, and my sister and I would laugh and gasp in astonishment as our hands turned red. Sometimes I brought the TV remote and pressed a button that made all the keys glow red. Sometimes I left the light on, and my cousin and I ate food in there.

Sometimes we ate chocolate coins or rice. It was weird, but the memory stuck with Stinky Foot Club.

I brought my neighbor’s grandson in there with me often too since we were close and even came from the same elementary school. We would talk or tell stories, and then we would go out and play outside – in the front yard, of course. In the back yard, my St. Bernard would attack him, the tiny four-year-old child who only had chihuahuas as pets.

Sometimes I would hide there from my parents, and sometimes my sister would come with me. And sometimes I would conduct secret meetings with my sister and cousin like a real club.

I wrote down the club name and everything, listing down the members, and stating the rule that if anyone else would go in, I would be mad.

Years have passed since then, and my sister and I barely fit together in our hideout now, but the paper still remains. Written in green glitter pen, “Stinky Foot Club” and its list of members and rules live on.

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