Remember, Teddy?

A short story from a little girl's point of view.

A young girl with pale blonde hair was huddled in a corner, her arms wrapped tightly around her legs. The child's chin rested on her bony knees, round green eyes staring blankly ahead. Her hair was cut short, almost too short for a girl of her age. A punctured, stuffed teddy-bear hung from her pale fingers.

"Hi, Teddy, I'm Cami. Do you remember me, Cami Renee Duncan? I remember you." Cami spoke to the inanimate animal. "When I was little, much smaller than I am now, I remember mommy winning you at the town fair.

"She gave you to me, all new and fluffy, you see. You were soft, too, Teddy, remember?

"Then you lost your eye and mommy sewed on a new one, Teddy, remember that? A new button for you. I found that button in Miss Miller's old shop. She didn't take too kindly to me using her button, but I told her that you needed a new button and without one you couldn't see. Remember, Teddy?" Cami began to rock back and forth, playing with the ragged doll as she spewed her tale.

"Then mommy took me to school for the first time and I brought you with me. Danny Douglas didn't like you, I think he was jealous. That afternoon Danny pushed me into a mud puddle and you got all dirty and you weren't new anymore. Danny got in trouble by the teacher, but you were already ruined, remember, Teddy?

"Then the next year I left you sitting on my bed in my room. I wanted to show you the pretty picture I drew in art class. But when I came back Mr. Snuggles had played with you a little too hard and he got stuffing everywhere. I helped Mommy stitch you all up so you'd be okay again. Remember, Teddy?

"Mommy never had a lot of money, but she always fixed you up just fine. You may have scars now and a new eye and dirty scruffs of fur everywhere, but you're still the same teddy-bear mommy got me when I was little.

"And a little while after that I had all -A's on my report card from school. I remember running home to show Mommy. Do you remember, Teddy? I remember. You were swinging in my arms. I never liked putting you in my bag. It's too dark and cold for you in there.

"But when I got home Mommy was on the floor. There was something wrong with her eye; it wasn't creamy colored like it was supposed to be. You know, like the color of some eggs or the sand at the beach. It was purple. Her eye was purple. I tried to give Mommy a new eye, over the old one, but the button wouldn't stay.

"There were purple and blue spots all over her body. Like the sky at night when the sun is going to sleep---just like that. I guess it has a bedtime. I have a bedtime, too, Teddy." The girl paused for a moment, thinking, before she returned to her original tale. "I didn't know what they were so I didn't touch them. Mommy always said not to touch things if you didn't know what they were.

"Every time I took a step to her, I left a red footprint on the white carpet. Mommy always made me take my shoes off at the door so I wouldn't bring nasty footprints inside. Remember her saying that, Teddy? I'm sorry I got red paint on the floor, Mommy, I didn't know I had red paint. But I must've because there was red paint all over Mommy. I don't remember spilling any paint or juice. Mommy never let me pour juice by myself.

"I wanted to sew her back together, like when we fixed you all up, Teddy, but I couldn't find Mommy's string. I knew I couldn't help Mommy all by myself. I wasn't grown up enough. But I'm all grown now, Teddy. I can help Mommy now."

Cami smiled a crooked grin.

"I ran over to our neighbor's house, Mrs. Thompson, remember, Teddy? I wanted to make me a sandwich but I wasn't allowed to when I was lone. I told Mrs. Thompson that I wanted a sandwich and I couldn't ask Mommy because she was broken. The lady wasn't happy when she saw my toes and the red paint everywhere, and I didn't like the loud noise she made, but I tried to tell her that I didn't mean to get it all over the carpet. Mommy wouldn't be too happy about that when she woke up, now, would she, Teddy?

"Mrs. Thompson must've called people to help me with my sandwich, because a lot of people came, and men with flashing lights. They put Mommy on a bed in a bag and told me that they were sending her away to be made all better again. She could come back good as new."

Cami lifted the teddybear into the air. She laughed then sobered as another thought came to mind. Her emerald eyes grew wide like a typical child's.

"They say I've gone mad. Remember, Teddy? But I'm not mad. Mommy's getting fixed and she'll come back and we'll live happily ever after. I just have to stay here until Mommy comes back. You don't think I'm mad, do you, Teddy? I'm not mad. She'll be brand new. Just like you were before.

"Mommy will come back, just you see. She'll be back for us, Teddy, you remember that. I know I'll remember."

Cami smiled. "Just you see."

The End

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