Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Today I’ve got a special treat for y’all… a new flash fiction piece. I kinda got emotional while writing this one, so I hope it’s worth the tears! 😉
Every night for the past twenty-something years, I’ve watched you fall asleep, always tossing and turning, struggling to get comfortable and making a mess of the covers. For many years I slept amongst them too, twisted up in the sheets, sometimes smothered when you’d roll over in your sleep. No matter how uncomfortable I became, no matter how many nights I lay awake due to your soft snoring, these are the moments I looked forward to every waking day. From the crib to your princess bed, to the queen-sized bed you slumber alone in now, I’ve observed every emotion flash across your face when you dream. Even though the times I’m invited now are few and far between, your dreams are still what I live for.
You’re not home as much as you used to be. Remember when we were inseparable? I’d ride on your shoulders as you’d scurry down the staircase. Ah, the staircase. We had so many adventures there. Remember when we rock climbed? Such a perilous journey up those twelve steps. Or when you’d tie a jump rope around my waist and throw me over the banister, letting me bungee jump? If it was anyone else I’d be terrified, but you are mine and I am yours, and I know you were looking out for me.
As you grew older, I remained with you among the pages of those first stories you wrote as a girl. I danced with you to Aaron Carter and Dream Street tunes on your boom box. I’ve never stopped looking out for you.
And as the years continues to pass, the dread escalated. You always called me your favorite, gave me special attention. I never thought the day would come when another would take my place, until he showed up. I looked over your shoulder as you’d write about him in your diary, reading line after line declaring how much you loved him so. I’d snuggle closer to you, reminding myself that you have so much love in your heart that he and I could share it. Little did we both know that he would fail to recognize what I always saw in you.
One night, as I waited for you to fall asleep, you never did. For the longest time, your face was illuminated in the light of a computer screen. At first I assumed I was imagining the tears streaming down your cheeks, until you choked back a sob and stormed across the room, pulling me close. Your tears soaked my arms as you wept, and I soaked up all the pain he caused you. But how could I cherish this rare moment of closeness when you were in such pain?
He ended things over an instant message. That revealed his worth to me as a suitor after your heart. He couldn’t love you because he didn’t know you, the true you, the vulnerable and complicated you that I observed since you were but a year old. For if anyone saw what I’ve seen, they’d love you to pieces. Let me repeat, dear girl, I’ll never stop looking out for you.
Now that you’re older, and the times you need my comfort are becoming scarce, I want you to know this truth: I will never stop looking out for you. When you marry the man of your dreams, if you allow me the honor, I vow to guard and favor your children as you once favored me. As you may still favor me. I promise to be with them every step of their lives, from the crib, to the race car bed, to their full-sized beds as adults. I vow to help them realize their dreams and pursue them. I vow to soak up their sorrows, to hear their heartbreaks, to be a friend to mend their hearts. For you are mine and I am yours. Thank you for being my person.
With love, from the toy box,
© Copyright 2018, Allyson Kennedy. All rights reserved.
This story combined the aspects of toys having thoughts and feelings (like Toy Story) with my own interpretation of how my favorite teddy bear, Beary, feels about me being grown up. Like the story mentions, I’ve had Beary since I was one year old (actually ten months maybe), and he’s been my constant companion and confidant throughout life. ❤️
Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up? Do you still have them? Share your stories in the comments!