Broken Toys

Can a childhood occurrence ruin a person's life forever? What can a simple event do to a damage a child's view on life and people? Eight year-old Elizabeth has a normal childhood until those seven days of March 1994 damage her life forever.

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1. Broken Years

6am. Awaken. Dress. Breakfast. Wash. Shoes. Walk dog. Come home. Get work folders. Leave. 8am. Arrive at work. Say hello with a small smile. Head to the reception. Sit down. Log on the computer. Work. See animals. See people. Greet with small smiles and nods. 4pm. Vet closing. Pack up. Shut down. Say goodbye with a slight nod, keeping head mostly down. Leave clutching folders. Drive home. Tidy. Have tea. Clean up. Walk dog. Come home. Watch a couple of movies. 11pm. Go to bed. Sleep as best as possible.

 

That is my normal working day, but today is not like that at all. I head to work and everything is going according to plan. However, at 10:07am my name is called by Danniella.

She comes out of her room which holds the sick animal cages, then comes and calls very softly "Elizabeth".

I jump, because I flinch at every unexpected noise, and rise slowly out of the chair. It lifts slightly at the sudden lack of weight, I place one foot in front of the other. I am back to class, the teacher has called my name. I have to stand in front of everyone, with all eyes on my tear stained face again.

I snap back to the present and focus on getting to the small meeting room Danniella has indicated. The room is mainly used to discuss conditions of animal's health and break sad news to owners. This time I know this isn't to discuss the health of my dog or the condition of another animal. This time I know this is something much worse. This is a dig into the past.

 

Danniella is sat at the round table clutching a mug. She indicates another mug two chairs away from her, almost opposite. Her face is solemn and she looks like she's been waiting for a long time to have the nerve to approach me to speak with me. I slowly lower myself into the chair indicated and catch the faint whiff of coffee. I never take my eyes off of her, I am anticipating the worst.

She raises her head slowly when I am seated, swallows and says clearly, "tell me about March 1994"

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