“Remember this one?” said Jenny gently stroking the roughly done stitch on the belly of a visible old but freshly cleaned Teddy.
“‘Of course I do. I thought I was going to die that day” Jenny imagined Teddy say with a frightful cadence.
“And this?” Jenny inquired gently pulling at the dark black button, that once used to fasten her school blazer, and now was Teddy’s left eye.
“’It was terrible,” replied Teddy, recalling the fierce Boston Terrier that terrified Teddy.
“Although I miss Bambi”, Teddy lied.
“No you don’t” Jenny asserted. “You hated her since the very moment Mom brought her in.” she persisted.
“You’re right. I don’t miss her at all” Teddy laughed.
Jenny joined in.
Jenny tucked the bear in just under the neck with his right arm sticking out. Just the way he liked it.
“Good night” Jenny wished the bear before turning the lights out.
“Good night dear” the senseless stuffed bear replied.
Teddy and Jenny had been together since Jenny was 7 years old. Jenny was 26 now and Teddy was, well, not Teddy. When Jenny was 13 years old, Jenny’s mom had bought her a new bear which Jenny continued calling Teddy. The old Teddy was probably abandoned at a park or stolen by one of Jenny’s childhood friends. Perhaps Jenny had supressed this memory and continued to believe that the Teddy that was currently being spooned by her was in fact the Teddy that Mom brought home when Jenny was just 7 years old.
Jenny got up early in the morning and looked at her phone. No new messages or emails. She threw the phone back at the bed stand and hugged the bear sleeping next to her in a tight embrace. The bear was almost as big as a 3 year old baby but lighter than her pillow.
“Morning dear” Teddy whispered in Jenny’s ears.
Jenny’s mind still processing the “no new messages” ignored Teddy’s greeting.
Jenny’s best friend had received an invitation for a 9 months internship to Paris and Jenny was waiting for her invitation. “After all, I’m smarter than Bindi” Jenny angrily thought.
“I said Good Morning my sunshine” said Mr. Teddy trying to gain Jenny’s attention.
Jenny grabbed Teddy by the neck and tossed the bear out of the bed and into the floor without looking back at where he had landed.
“Am I not smarter than her?” Jenny questioned herself.
“You are the smartest person I know” cried Teddy from the floor.
Jenny tossed like an epileptic patient in her bed, a montage of exasperated movements followed by a scream into her pillow.
Teddy had seen it all. For a teenager she spent an awful amount of time at home. Although Teddy enjoyed her company, he was also a victim of her sudden bursts of anger. He had been tossed, thrown, strangled, punched, pedigreed, half nelsoned, suffocated and even drowned in one or two occasions.
Jenny got out of her bed and went into the bathroom. And yes, Teddy had been there with her too. Teddy was glad today wasn’t one of those days. For many years Jenny would take Mr. Teddy to the toilet with her. She would sit him right opposite to her on top of the wash basin while she did the deed. Poor Teddy couldn’t even cover his eyes. He was traumatized. Fortunately for Teddy, Jenny’s fear of bathroom monsters didn’t last long.
Jenny reappeared in her bedroom and started getting ready for work. She walked over and around the room while Teddy still lay on the floor.
While tying her shoe lace, Jenny noticed Teddy on the floor.
“I’m sorry Teddy” she picked him up and sat him on the dressing table. “Here you go” she said as she positioned him on the table so that he wouldn’t fall.
“There’s a letter for you Jenny” cried Jenny’s mom from outside her room.
Jenny jumped in excitation and ran to the door, opened it, snatched the letter from her mother and shut the door on her face.
“What is it?” the mom inquired still outside the room.
“Nothing” Jenny replied automatically. A typical teenage answer.
The wish had been granted, the prayer had been answered. Paid internship to Paris. And with her best friend! Jenny was beyond happy.
Jenny ran out of her room screaming.
“I’m going to Paris!”
“I am going to Paris!”
The sound of cheering and laughter and happiness reached Teddy. He was happy too.
“Am I going to Paris too?” Teddy asked himself.
It was seven hours later that Teddy saw Jenny again.
She entered her room with the tired smile and fell flat on her bed. Mr. Teddy had quite enjoyed the spooning the previous night and had hoped that the same would happen today. But Jenny did not move. Jenny’s mom entered the room at midnight, tucked her daughter in, turned the lights out and left. Mr. Teddy had to sleep on the hard wood dressing table all by himself.
The next morning Teddy watched as Jenny brushed her hair next to the mirror and in the mirror. The remnant of yesterday’s smile still visible on her face.
“So when are we going to Paris?” Teddy asked Jenny in anticipation.
“Knock! Knock!” answered the door.
“Who is it?” Jenny asked still driving the comb through her hair.
“It’s me, Aunt Jen” answered a sweet voice from behind the door.
Jenny opened the door and welcomed her niece Ophelia inside.
“Your mom told me you lost your doll. Didn’t you?” asked Jenny
The young child nodded and expected Jenny to bring out the doll she had lost.
“Well here’s Mr. Teddy”, Jenny said picking Mr. Teddy up from the table.
The child was visibly disappointed.
“Here, take care of it while I’m gone, will ya?”, Jenny requested.
Ophelia had been tricked by her mother into believing that Aunt Jenny would give her a new doll. She did not want a bear.
“Don’t you want it?” Jenny asked surprised at Ophelia’s response or lack thereof.
The child stared at the toy and then at Jenny unable to provide a response.
“Don’t you like it?” repeated Jenny.
“I like it” Ophelia replied dishonestly.
“Well, it’s yours now” Jenny confirmed.
The child took the bear and pressed it on her chest, confirming its new ownership.
“Just like that? How can you… How?” Teddy stammered in disappointment, shock and abject humiliation.
“I’m sorry” Jenny replied realizing what she had just done.
Teddy turned around and hugged Ophelia refusing to face Jenny’s loathsome face and that ridiculous smile.
“May I go now?” Ophelia politely asked her aunt.
Jenny in a daze caressed the back of Teddy’s head. But he wouldn’t turn.
With his chin on Ophelia’s shoulder, the bear was streaming tears that no one would ever see.
Ophelia ambled out of the room leaving Jenny alone with her selfishness.
A deep sinking feeling stabbed Jenny on her chest.
“How could she?”