A commended entry for a flash fiction competition on the theme “sacrifice”.
“Something has to be sacrificed, Bobby,” Mum sighed, “And you’ve no more use for them, right?”
“Right,” Bobby uttered miserably.
He couldn’t look at her. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the sky blue wooden chest that lay open in front of him.
It made sense. His parents’ new house would be smaller, and fitting the chest into his little maisonette was impossible. Something had to go.
Besides, he was twenty-six. What use did he have for toys?
Even so, the chest felt like lead as Bobby helped Dad ease it out of the attic. Sticking or tying labels to each of the toys felt like a betrayal. Kelly seemed to have no such problem, but then they weren’t hers, were they?
“We’ll keep a few things aside, Kid,” Dad said reassuringly, “Your Duplo bricks and Tomy train set will be great for your little cousins to play with when they visit.”
Bobby shrugged and forced a smile.
Mum and Dad held a garage sale the following weekend, with Bobby and Kelly helping out.
“Have fun putting it together,” Bobby told the little girl who bought his giant floor puzzle. Had he actually found that a challenge once? He couldn’t remember.
“Hope your kids have some great adventures with them,” he said to the lady who bought his Talespin figures. He certainly had.
“Take care of her,” he told the boy bought his pink Power Ranger. After all, Kimberley was arguably his first crush.
“Brilliant work, guys,” Dad said later, as the family relaxed later over tea and Hob Nobs. “We sold nearly everything!”
“Yeah,” Bobby said weakly. “So we did.”
“Cheer up, Bobby,” beamed Kelly. “It’s your birthday in a few weeks, so I’ve got you an early present. Be careful, it’s fragile.”
Bobby carefully unwrapped the package Kelly gave him. Inside was a framed photograph of him, as a boy, in the playroom, surrounded by his old toys.
“There you go, Bobby,” Kelly smiled. “Toys can be sold, but memories… never.”
And Bobby was so happy he cried.