Formative Experience (2007)

The forest green door of our apartment had been kicked open and the golden knob was on the ground, the apartment number scratched out with a dark black permanent marker. I had just woken up from my nap in the car, driving home with my family in the summer of  ’99. But immediately, I was fully awake the moment I laid my eyes on the unforgettable scene. My mouth dropped open in shock as I stared at our once clean and comfortable living room. The TV on the left had been taken out of its usual place in the dark brown TV stand, and its place were old, torn up newspapers. The leather couches and dark dining table had been turned over and the living room table and clock were now gone. The bright flower vase had been shattered on the ground right in front of the door, little pieces of colored glass everywhere. My dad’s collection of expensive watches and perfumes, once safely inside the cabinets, was now nowhere to be found, and the cabinet doors were broken and now on the ground. As we made our way inside, we found the entire house in complete ruins, a big, chaotic mess. What I had taken for granted, what I thought I’d always have, what my parents had worked so hard for, was now all gone.

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