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Grade
10

The girl, little at the time, picked him up from the  toy store; the place he could still remember full of bright white lights and rows of toys, cold and silent. She picked him up with her small, stubby fingers and looked at him with her soft doe eyes, declaring that this was the bear she wanted. So Teddy was paid for by the impatient mother and the little girl gently cradled him on the ride to their home, where Teddy was made to sit on the little girl’s bed.

Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around.

It was a rhyme the girl would chant with her friends as they jump-roped down the sidewalk on breezy summer days. Teddy would hear their high-pitched laughter from outside the window in her bedroom as he would sit, still, against her headboard.

He would try to turn his cotton-stuffed head and move his black beady eyes towards the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the world outside. But somehow he never could.

She would always come back, though. She would run inside, scoop him up, and grab his limp arms, swinging him around in circles as she squealed with glee. He wanted to tell her that he was glad she had picked him out of all the other toys. But somehow he never could.

Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground.

The little girl soon grew to her teens, and slowly Teddy’s once silky layer of fur became patchy and stiff. She would come back to him sometimes and tell him about how she went to school and met new friends, but she was so stressed out and tired. He wanted to tell her that he missed her, that he missed her and her carefree spirit. But somehow he never could.

Teddy bear, teddy bear turn off the lights.

Years seemed to pass and Teddy worried that the little girl would never come back. One day she appeared without warning and took him downstairs to the basement storage area.  She set him against a blue wall.

“Bye, Teddy,” she said, with an apologetic glance. Smiling slightly at the silliness of the situation, she went upstairs. 

Teddy would hear her walking upstairs, talking on the phone, typing on her computer. But she would never come down the stairs to visit him. The months passed by, and Teddy bear grew cold and lonely.

Teddy bear, teddy bear say goodnight. 

Now, the aged bear remembers how the rhyme would end, with the excited chatter of the girls as they jumped out of the jump-rope.  Teddy misses the little girl’s laugh and smallness. The moon shines a single, solitary beam through the old basement window upon another forgotten toy, another fleeting reminder of a little girl’s childhood. 

 

“They grow up so fast,” he thinks to himself. He wants to tell her that it’s okay, that people move on, that she should live her life without him. He hopes one day he will.