Sophie lost the locket her grandmother gave her a few months ago, before she died. They were really close. In fact, Sophie was closer to her grandmother than anyone else in the world. They always joked that they were soul mates, not in the romantic sense of the phrase, but more like soul sisters—in the way that their souls were as close as sisters, and as good of a fit together as mates. So this was no ordinary piece of jewelry in Sophie’s eyes. It meant the world to her. Now it was gone and she couldn’t find it and she was scared she never would. And that killed her.
She usually put it beside her bed on her nightstand, which is right next to the small garbage bin she kept in her room for the wrappers of her late-night snacks. It wasn’t impossible to think that the locket might’ve fallen into the garbage bin without Sophie noticing. And since she’d checked everywhere else in the entire house, there was only one place left to look—the garbage dump.
Sophie threw together what she referred to as her Sanitation Kit, which mainly consisted of hand sanitizer and rubber gloves, plus a bandana she had doused with perfume to use as a facemask. Kit in hand, she snuck out of the house without telling anyone where she was going. She knew that seeing her mother would cause her to burst into tears, and having to search through blurred vision was the last thing she needed.
After an unsuccessful day in the dumps, Sophie returned home feeling defeated and depressed. It was hard enough to wake up every day knowing that her grandmother was no longer alive, but now she couldn’t even comfort herself with the special locket she loved so much. Life just didn’t seem fair to her anymore. She didn’t even bother trying to hide her disappointment as she collapsed into a seat at the kitchen table.
“What’s wrong, honey?” Sophie’s mother asked upon both seeing and smelling her daughter.
Sophie gave no reply. She just continued to sit and stare off into space, her big brown eyes glazed over so that she appeared to be looking at something intently but at the same time seeming to actually see nothing at all. She kind of looked like a very life-like robot that had run out of batteries in the middle of sighing.
“Now, Sophie, I know something is wrong—I’m a mom, that’s our job. Why don’t you just tell me?” her mother asked, urging her daughter to give some sort of response.
Again, nothing from Sophie.
“You’ve been down in the dumps all week, sweetheart. Don’t try to deny that. Is this about your grandmother’s locket? Did you forget that we were getting the hinge repaired this week?” her mother asked.
Sophie immediately perked up at the news, her eyes filling with hot, happy tears. She couldn’t find any words to say, and even if she had, she couldn’t have spoken. Her throat was shut off, trying to prevent a long-stifled sob.
“Oh, that’s it, isn’t it? Oh, sweetie, it’s okay. I’m going to pick it up tomorrow—you have nothing to be sad about. Grandma wouldn’t want that. And I don’t, either. No more being down in the dumps, okay? Not emotionally, and certainly not physically. Can you promise me that, Soph?” her mother replied, gently rubbing Sophie’s back and lifting her spirits.