A Personal Reflection about Childhood Trauma

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I used to wonder why she called me Danny, she told me it was for short. I used to think to myself 'Danny, well that takes just as long to say as my normal name.' But nothing Laura did made a lot of sense. The little tomboy with tangled blonde hair and hand-me-down clothes from her cousins was different from other girls. All the other girls laughed at me when my bag went missing and I had to take my sister's girlie, pink bag to school. Not Laura she simply smiled and said "Lets swap bags; I hate my ugly brown one anyway."

She was my best friend and I thought that when we were grown-ups we'd get married. We used to put 'play weddings' on behind the swings, under the old gum tree. Laura would wear a white table cloth over her head and proudly hold a sour-sob bouquet. When it finally came time to 'kiss the bride' I always felt so nervous and scared. She used to try reassure me by saying "I'm your best friend; It's just like kissing your sister." The thought of kissing my sister was so gross; it made me even more frightened. I only managed once to kiss Laura on the cheek. While my lips were against the softness of her skin I felt a tingling stir within my chest and stomach. My sister sure never made me feel that way. When I was five my dreams were filled with Laura's tangled blonde hair and hand-me down clothes. Twenty years later I only wish I could sleep without having to see her face.

The day was hot and Laura and I bought ice-creams. I looked at her smiling face, with chocolate syrup dribbling down her chin and thought, 'You're perfect.' And she was. After school Tim met Laura and I by the school crossing. He was my dad's best friend and the only old man I was allowed to trust, according to mummy and daddy. He baby-sat me and my sister when our parents went to dinner and acted romantic. This day he was baby-sitting just Laura and I because my parents were at my sisters boring ballet recital and Laura's mum was working. She doesn't have a dad to look after her when her mum can't. I asked her what happened to her dad one day, she told me with deep breaths and sad looks. At the end of the story she added 'It's a secret Danny, so you're not allowed to tell anybody." | never told a living soul the rest of what she said because "secrets are kept between best friends and best friends only." Laura taught me so well.
Tim drove us back to my house in his fancy new Toyota. He drove really fast around the corners and made it hard for us to keep our balance. Laura and I were both sitting on the back seat and kept falling into each others laps. She laughed all the way home, even when there was nothing to laugh about. Her laughter still echoes in the silence.
"So Daniel, what game do you want to play?" The sun was going down and Tim was running out of ways to entertain us. We had already played all of the board games that we kept in the old, dusty, brown cupboard. "How about I spy?"
"No, eye spy is boring" Laura chanted.
"Yeah it's boring," I added. In actual fact I loved eye spy but if Laura found it boring; then it must be boring"
"I know" Laura jumped up and yelled. "Hide and seek! Me and Danny will hide and you count to ninety.... no one hundred and then come find us. Are you ready Tim? Start counting!"
Laura and I rushed into the kitchen. "I have the best hiding place but you can't tell anyone because it's a secret," She was talking softly so Tim wouldn't overhear. "Do you remember what I told you about secrets?".

"You're my best friend, I would never tell your secret. So where are you hiding?" She leant over and whispered it in my ear. I never gave a second thought about what she had told me.
"Quick, we have to hide!" she shrieked "And don't tell Tim where I'm hiding no matter how long it takes him to find me."

Tim found me about a minute after we started the game. I was hiding under the bed. He asked me where Laura was. I kept her secret. I kept silent - I should have spoken up. He searched through the whole house; inside cupboards, under furniture and behind doors. He didn't find her. He asked me where she was again. I kept her secret. I kept silent - I should have spoken up. Ten, Fifteen minutes went by and Tim stated to panic. He yelled and he screamed in frustration. He grabbed me and shook me back and forth with all his strength "Tell me where she's hiding, boy. I need to know."

What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking! All I thought about was how proud Laura would be of me for keeping her promise for so long, no matter how angry Tim got. I kept her promise. I kept silent - should have spoken up.I don't know how much time had passed when Tim found where she was hiding. I stood by him as he lifted the heavy white door open. He screamed at me to go away but I was paralysed with sickness and fear. I knew what had happened before I got a look. There she was the little tomboy with tangled blonde hair and hand-me-down clothes. She was frozen and blue and she didn't move. She just lay dead in her hiding spot.

I kept her secret. I kept silent - Why didn't I speak up?

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A Personal Reflection About Childhood Trauma. (2022, Oct 03). Retrieved February 22, 2024 , from

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