The house I lived in was like every other in my neighborhood, each equipped with its own dry patch of grass and dull grey walls. But the insignificant walls of the house I lived in held a special room. It was a place that stirred memories that I treasured only after it had been taken away. But the day my hamster died, those memories were stolen from me.
“Mom? Dad?” No response. They had gone to work and I was alone. Nobody could tell me why the silence seemed to haunt me.
Silently, I turn a corner to my special room that held my dearest pet. But what I saw next still haunts me.
As a child, I had always longed to have a pet that I didn’t have to look at through glass and could actually build a relationship with. Up until then, the only pet I had were two fish. I remember the times when I sat at the coffee table with my face pressed against the cold glass of the fishbowl, my eyes wide with wonder and excitement over the little creatures that were swimming around in front of me. Two years later, after both fish passed away, I had finally convinced my unwilling parents to get me a hamster. The morning before I got her, I attended my very first US Open competition for piano and won first and second prize for the events I participated in. In return, my parents had promised to get me a the pet I had longed for.
These memories rushed through my mind while I sat collapsed on the cold floor of the room. I felt crushed and empty, just like the cage that held my beloved pet. I stared blankly at nothing in particular, since what I was supposed to be staring at was gone. All that was left of my hamster was the small purple house she slept in, the empty wheel that kept me up late at night, and the lingering smell of her. That was it. There was nothing I could do to get her back. The times I shared with her were haunting and painful to think about. I sat there for long time, with my long hair hanging around my face, with tears streaming uncontrollably into a puddle in my hands. Raising my hamster was a turning point in my life, and was one of the first things I’d held full responsibility for.
That night, my parents sat by me on my bed, words stroking the wound that had opened in my chest that morning. They comforted me and promised that in the future, I would be able to get another pet that I would love as much I did for my first hamster.
That is a scar that still refuses to fade. It was my first loss, and it had hit me hard. My first real responsibility. I know here will always be things I take for granted before it slips away. And every time, the emptiness and dread inside me returns.