She knew if she played quietly under the table or behind the couch, she could hear the things that adults say when children aren’t around. And, that’s how she learned her secret of vast importance. A double secret since she couldn’t tell what she knew or how she knew it.
No one ever mentioned the secret of vast importance; it seemed to be hers alone. That was fine, it just proved she could keep any secret, especially her own. By the time she was old enough to leave home, she knew lots of secrets. People seemed to immediately trust her and before long, they were giving her their secrets. She felt like a bank vault full of safety deposit boxes, with each one holding a secret.
That’s how she got the idea to charge folks to keep their secrets for them. Tell your secret and you can let it go. People felt better after they said the unspoken words, to let out the fear, the anger, the hurt. She was a good listener having grown up under tables and behind couches. She became an official keeper of secrets.
But she still held her secret of vast importance. She couldn’t keep it locked away in the bank vault with the other secrets. It was too personal; too much of who she was. One sunny morning, GPS set, she drove her little fiat towards a tiny dot on the map.
Instinctively, she turned down the gravel road, opened the aging wrought iron gate, and parked her car just inside. She walked up the hill, and knelt before a tiny grave stone. She pushed aside the leaves covering the marker. “Hi Alice,” she said to her twin sister.