That afternoon she was home alone like every other working day. Her parents were at work and her sister was in school. She was about 6 years old and had the whole house for herself. That day she decided to explore the china cabinet in the living room. She went directly for the red velvety box that stood in the middle. Inside was the most precious piece of the family's collection: a white long-necked china vase. She carefully took it out of the box. It was so nice and smooth! Her whole hand fitted perfectly on its extremely long neck. And it was all so very light she could barely feel its weight. She spent several minutes analyzing the vase's decoration. There were only women depicted on it: all black-haired with Asian features. They wore strange baggy clothes and were all chasing after a butterfly. She found this rather funny.
Holding the vase's neck felt like holding a bottle so she started pretending she was a pirate drinking with his mates. She waved her vase/bottle in the air joyfully singing with her imaginary friends, not a care in the world. Until she turned her eyes to the vase. Half of it was gone! She was only holding the neck of the former vase. The rest sat in shards on the floor next to the table that it had probably hit. She was horrified and could not yet believe that she had smashed the most precious china. She would be in big trouble if her parents found out.
After the first moment of panic she started looking for solutions to her trouble. First she tried to glue the vase back together but that turned out to be impossible. The shards were extremely fine and too small for her paper glue and skills. She then decided to get rid of the evidence and hid the broken vase on the bottom of the garbage bin. But her mom could have easily found it when taking out the trash… she thought of a better solution: take the garbage out. That meant unlocking the apartment door and going to the garbage chute down the corridor.
Lucky thing the lock on her door was a special one. From inside the flat it could be opened with a screwdriver or something similar. She used a pair of scissors to carefully unlock and take the trash out. However once she finished that operation she was still feeling restless and scared. And the door was already unlocked… so she thought it would be best to go for a short walk to calm down. The sun would surely help her ease her mind. She went out closing the door behind her but leaving it unlocked. The plan was to come back before her parents return from their jobs. But that's easier said than done. Once outside in the playground she met some kids and started playing with them. She forgot all about the vase and her fear of the consequences.
She only remembered in the evening when her mom came to fetch her. The mother was so furious that in the elevator she slapped her daughter for the first time. She said it had scared the life out of her getting home to find the door unlocked and her daughter missing. When asked why she had done it the girl said she needed to calm down. But nobody asked her why she needed calming down. Her parents would only find out about one year later that the china vase was gone.