Toy story

I can hear the car stop. You’re back. I’m relieved, I feel a swell of excitement mixed with dread rise from somewhere deep within me. I’m eager to see you. Anxious about the state of your leg. They must have fixed it by now but you’ll probably still be in pain for a while. I feel guilty. I hear the front door open. It sounds like your mother is helping you in. I’m getting even more anxious, more eager to see you but I have to wait. I hope you won’t hate me as your mother does. She’s yelled at you, smacked you and begged you to throw me away but you wouldn’t. I didn’t want you to disobey her but I admit I did feel proud that you defended me so much. You loved me. It was that simple. I did not realize it until I’d been broken and faded. I wasn’t glossy and glorious anymore but you still held me in your sweaty palms as you ran with the wind. What I’d give to feel that again; the damp heat of your palm enveloping my torso. You never let any of the other kids touch me. Your mother called you selfish for not sharing but I loved your over-protectiveness. I didn’t want anyone else to touch me anyway. You were always enough for me.

I remember the day your brother took me when you were not here. He shouldn’t have. He knew you’d be upset but he did anyway. I didn’t like being with him as much as you. You always treated me so kindly, like an egg. But him, he was too rough and you got home to find me with a broken leg and one of my arms missing. That day, you got so mad and you bit him so hard that your mother had to beat you to get you off him. All I remember thinking was how disappointed you’d be with me, how you would never want to touch me again or even see me. You cannot imagine how pleasantly shocked I was when you hugged me and held me protectively all night even as you slept. You never could find my missing arm or fix my broken leg but that did not reduce your love for me. Now, I wish with all my consciousness that I could fix your leg and take away all the pain that I’d caused. It was my fault that you fell. If you hadn’t been stubbornly holding me as you rode your new bike, you would have been able to apply your brakes before you hit the gutter. Your cries of pain were unbearable for me and there was nothing I could do. You still held on to me as your father carried you inside the house. Of course, when your mother saw me she took me and flung me in your room. That made me lose my one good leg but I know that it won’t matter to you at all.

You’re at the door now and your mother helps you to your bed. I can’t contain the joy I feel finally seeing you. You don’t look half as bad as I’d imagined. Thank God. Only your ankle is bandaged. Your mom leaves to get you a cup of milk. Just as I knew you would, you pick me up from where I lay just beside your bed. Thankfully, your bed is low so you don’t have to stretch too far. If I had a heart, it’d be racing right now. If I had tear ducts, I would be crying right now. I missed you so much. You move to the edge of the bed and swing your legs out so you’re sitting, facing the window. You’re gripping me so tightly I’m sure I’d feel it if I could feel anything. Perhaps it’s because you missed me too. You raise your arm and swing it forcefully forward tossing me out the window. I don’t understand. Is it my broken body? Is it your bandaged ankle?

As I land on the cobblestone beneath your window, I lose my other arm. I remember the look on your face when you tossed me. Your eyes – there was nothing there. Not love, not hatred, not boredom, just…a lack of love. Drops of water are landing gently all around me. Within seconds, their momentum increases. The rain is heavy now. I see your mother turn on the lights in your room and draw the blinds. I love you Andy.

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