The Broken Ones

Aaron Pace
4 min readNov 19, 2023
Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

We had played soccer in grandma’s basement before — even though she had politely and repeatedly asked us not to. I was probably 11 years old on a particular Sunday afternoon when we once again made our way into our grandma’s basement to play soccer. We were a bit older than the last time, and it seems that a handful of untrained boys in a narrow room could not avoid damaging something forever.

We were only a few minutes into our game when one of us kicked the ball a bit too hard, sending it flying across the room where it struck an old lamp. The lamp fell to the floor, breaking into dozens of big pieces and innumerable small ones.

The room was adjacent to the stairwell leading up to the room where our parents and grandparents were seated. It didn’t take long for grandma to make her way down to the wreckage.

The first thing grandma asked was if everyone was okay. We nodded without making eye contact. She calmly invited us to go outside, but to be careful about the glass.

Fast forward a few weeks until the next time we were at grandma’s house. When we went down to play, we were all surprised to find that lamp back in its place on the end table. Cracks were visible everywhere, but the lamp was whole, in place, and functioning.

I don’t remember how long it took for the soccer game to start that day. In slow-motion…



Aaron Pace

Married to my best friend. Father to five exuberant children. Fledgling entrepreneur. Writer. Software developer. Inventory management expert.