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Tucker's Hideaway

Katie Addams, Massachusetts, USA
June 2000

Last year I was a sophomore in high school. I ran track and I loved all the girls and guys I ran with. I became particularly fond of people named Colleen, Becky, Amy, Neil, Jay, and Andrew.

Our school was being renovated at this time, so there were many parts of the school that no one was allowed into except workers and personnel.

Feeling daring after practice one day, Colleen, Becky, Jay, Neil and I explored the school. We went through doors that had signs on them that said not to enter, we walked on newly waxed floors, and we pretended it was a military mission.

I noticed another doorway hidden beneath a stairway. I told my comrades, and we opened it. There was another stairway. "This leads to the bookroom," said Colleen. So we continued to climb. We reached a floor with all the English books on it, and I noticed a hole in the wall with a ladder beside it. Of course, we climbed in and saw we were in a boiler room like place. There were signatures of students everywhere, from different years. but the one that stuck out was the one above the door, which read "Welcome to Tucker's Hideaway--1942".
"Guys!" I cried, "Look at this!"
"LOOK OUT!" screamed Jay.
I whipped around and noticed I was backing up into one of the huge pipes that ran through the whole place.
"Those things are easily 500 degrees!" said Neil. "Be careful, they'll burn your skin off." We ventured further in and found some chalk. We scrawled our names on the wall along with the other classes and decided to leave. I turned around and suddenly stumbled on a piece of chalk and went flying forward. I was headed for one of the burning hot pipes and I couldn't stop myself from falling. I slammed my eyes shut. Suddenly, I felt someone push me to the side and I landed hard on...the wooden floor.

Becky and all my friends gathered around and helped me up.
"Oh my god," cried Colleen. "You were headed straight for that pipe! It's a good thing you shifted in the air!"
"What are you talking about?" I screamed. "Someone pushed me!"
They looked at each other. "Um, no one pushed you," said Jay. "We were all over there." "But I--" I stopped talking and sniffed the air. "Do you guys smell that?"
The air was putrid with cigarette smoke. "Let's get out of here," I said. "A janitor must be smoking underneath us."

So we left, but I noticed "Tucker's Hideaway 1942" scrawled above the entrance before we did. I made everyone stop in the library before we left the school.

I found the 1942 yearbook and looked up "Tucker". I saw a picture of a smiling boy with this written next to it.
Fondest Memories: Smoking during classes in my hideaway, no one has found it yet!

My hands shook and I dropped the yearbook. With some further research, I found out that John Tucker had gone overseas during World War 2 after graduation, and never came home. At least, not in body.

Katie Addams, Massachusetts, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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