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Screaming and crying from the back porch, I ran into one of the guest bedrooms at my grandmother’s house. It was the week of Christmas, but I don’t know if it was before, the day of, or right after. I don’t even recall what my parents said to me. I don’t think I cared. It was the day that the dream of the North Pole, magical elves, and flying reindeer died. I found an empty Barbie box in the trash can on my grandparents’ back porch. I’d heard rumours, I’m sure. Otherwise, why would I immediately know that something was wrong just by seeing an empty Barbie box? Why would it send me into fits of sobbing? And why would I feel that the world as I knew it was ending?

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