Robin Rendle
• San Francisco, California

This House of Lovely Secrets

C bought a typewriter and hid it in her car. Each week she’d drive out to her parents’ house without telling me and, under this veil of secrecy, she’d type out messages on little cards. On each of them she’d write a joke, a memory, a secret about a secret that we’d told each other over the past year.

On my birthday I entered the kitchen and found myself surrounded by balloons and cakes and hugs. C then handed me a book—it was a collection of all those cards bound together. A book of secrets.

Later—after a brief, hour-long period where I absolutely did not cry and you cannot prove that I ever did—I asked where she hid everything. Where were the balloons and the cake? I was at home working the whole time. Where did you make this book?

In the most C way imaginable, she just said 👀 👀 👀.

So now, ever since my birthday, as I walk through the hallways of this house, I think about all the other gifts hidden in every corner of our home; in the closets and cabinets, above us in the ceiling, and in the floorboards beneath. We’re surrounded by gifts.

I can’t stop smiling because I know what my job is: add more to the collection. Build a bigger house of lovely secrets and hidden gifts.