When she first heard the news, the glass she was holding slipped from my fingers and shattered on the tiled surface of the kitchen floor. It might as well have been some kind of metaphor for what she actually felt. Her eyes remained fixed on the television and the news of an explosion in the city. The building she was looking at had been completely destroyed in the blast and they feared many dead.
This was nothing new when you lived in Ireland as bombs seem to go off almost daily. What was new was the realisation that the building she was looking at was the office where her daughter worked. There was no way of knowing whether she had been working when building was destroyed. Was this going to be her first time caught up in the chaos that seemed to grip the country? Emily glanced down at the fragments of glass and carefully made her way out of the kitchen.
Mobile phones did not exist so the only people she could contact was the emergency number that appeared on screen. Quickly she dialled the number and waited for someone to answer. “Hello? It’s my daughter, she works in that very building and I don’t if she was in there when everything happened. What would you suggest is the best way to go about finding out?”
“What’s your daughter’s name?”
“Oh, sorry, yes, Maggie Campbell.”
“When did you last see her?”
“This morning, when she was leaving for work.” She started biting her fingernails. “Please, she is only 18.”
“Madam, I know this is difficult but you have to try to not lose hope. The best thing to do would be to wait by the phone just in case she tries to get in contact. If we find anything out in the meantime, I will take your details so we can get back to you with any news.”
“Thank you.” After giving details Emily said goodbye and started the long wait for the rest of the day to see if her daughter would contact her. Either that, or just come home like nothing happened as usual. Fortunately, one neighbour had seen the news and come over to check on Emily. The neighbours stayed with for the rest of the day and try to make some small talk to keep her from going crazy as she waited by the phone that never rang.
It was later that day when there was a knock at the door. The neighbour answered it and revealed two uniformed police officers. Emily knew instantly that the news would not be good, but she still kept hoping that it would just be that Maggie had been injured. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.
Just like the glass from earlier, Emily felt like she had just been broken into thousands of pieces and scattered along the floor. What would she do now?
I wrote this in response to my challenge of writing Wednesday. This has no basis in reality, I just thought this was one way of a person being shattered.