She was like a vase placed on the mantel for all to look at. She glowed with self-confidence. She shined with an unmistakable excitement for life. She sat high on the shelf; untouchable and unattainable. This vase was highly guarded. The minute anyone came within feet of the shelf, steel bars would fly up and an unbreakable glass dome would conceal her from the outside. Many would try, none would succeed.
Then one day, the alarms didn’t go off. Someone reached for the vase and there was silence. No steel bars. No glass case. The barriers had been invaded. There was no turning back. The vase was exposed. I was vulnerable.
The events following this invasion all screamed chaos and let down. The person who had defied the borders would be the same person responsible for the accident. He had been careless with the vase and now it lay broken in pieces on the floor.
I managed to pick the pieces off the ground and like a puzzle, glue them one by one back together. But the pieces didn’t quite fit the same. After that day the mantel never seemed as strong, never felt as sturdy. The high-tech security system remained turned off; who would try to steal an irreparable container?
The vase’s glossy finish was now dull from its hardships. It had aged. Its glow had diminished. The vase that once refused contact, now starred helplessly at each passerby longing to be held; but, at the same time paralyzed by fear of falling again.