On Friday evening, Kathleen ran out into the living room. “Dad! Look what I found underneath your pillow!” She handed me a paper with three sentences on it:
Kevin, you have a secret friend. You can find who it is. From your secret friend.
Kathleen was very excited, and went on speculating about who my secret friend could be. “Your secret friend has handwriting just like mine” she mused. But she assured me that it was NOT her.
Throughout the night further notes followed, with Kathleen constantly amazed that my secret friend was able to sneak around our house without being detected. One message suggested that my secret friend would reveal him or herself at 5:00 the next day. I explained that the note was ambiguous, since it could be 5AM or 5PM. Kathleen thought my secret friend probably meant the morning. She thought I should get up early just in case this interpretation was right. I had to explain to her that it must be 5PM since my secret friend would know that I am asleep at 5 in the morning.
As I sat outside Kathleen’s bedroom door, somehow my secret friend sneaked into her room and left notes even after bedtime. But, she assured me that even though the notes were showing up in her room it was not her doing it.
Eventually, the details were ironed out. At 4:00PM on Saturday, my secret friend would be wearing a dress and sitting on the love seat in my living room. The mystery would be solved.
Kathleen woke me on Saturday asking whether I was excited to meet my secret friend. When she got dressed for the day, she picked out a pretty blue dress to wear. I noted that my secret friend had said she would be wearing a dress that afternoon. Kathleen assured me: “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Every half hour through the day, we had to answer Kathleen’s inquiries about how long it was until 4:00.
In the end, after a minute by minute countdown, at 3:57 Kathleen declared it to be 4:00. She was sitting alone on the love seat in her dress, and she laughed uproariously at the fact that I had not put the clues together to figure out that she was my secret friend. I had to admit that I felt silly in retrospect.
I am the luckiest man in the world.