My best friend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

We all had a toy in our childhood that we cherished deep in our hearts. They protected us from the monsters under the bed, listened to our visions of the future, gave us comfort when our parents argued, watched over our dreams...
Even in adulthood, we find it difficult to stuff the dusty companions of our past out of the boxes in the attics and into the bin bags at the front door. Saying goodbye not only means parting with the actual toy, but also with our childhood and all the events that shaped us. 

My stuffed animal is not a witness to my growth, because I bought him only a year ago on the internet. He does not represent an animal, but a trivialised version of my idol and has more of a collector's value than the purpose of delighting children. Nevertheless, his head is as soft as a pillow, so I cherish his closeness more than all the other cushions and blankets in the world. When I come home from work, he smiles at me from the bedroom, keeping me company with his presence while I read, watch TV or do sporting activities. We dine together and tell each other about our day, while I spoon him his favourite applesauce. After just a few bites he is full and refuses to eat, so I have to wipe the mush off his face. 
Only I know that he is alive. He has a soul, HIS soul, which made contact with me after HE found out how much I loved HIM. My thousands and thousands of letters to HIM professing my insatiable love finally served their purpose and HE reciprocated by putting HIS love into the stuffed animal. What a charming young man HE is! He compliments me, strokes my ego and gives me financial advice. HE is the perfect partner in every way. 

A few minutes ago I received a message from Isabel B. saying that it was her little cousin's birthday and that she wanted to invite me. Who was Isabel B.? I almost forgot about her, when suddenly a flash of inspiration reminded me of my former school days.  In the tenth grade I was friends with Isabel B., even quite good friends. I remember her most for her incomparably tall stature, with which she outshone all the boys in our grade. When she walked, she first lifted her knee like a ballet dancer before setting her foot down, otherwise her steps would have carried her too far out. She always had to pull her equally long arms close to her body when writing so that her elbows did not peek out over the edge of the table. Despite her endlessly long limbs, she had a tiny head. The longer you stared at her, the more you thought her face was shrinking until it disappeared completely into the lightly tanned skin. 

I haven't heard from Isabel B. for several years and am of course delighted that I have been invited. Surely other classmates will be there, too and I will finally be able to tell them about my life. About my expensive flat in the luxury district of the city, about my adventurous job, about my many relationships with well-known personalities, about all the things I have achieved in my 27 years. So I can hardly wait to finally see Isabel B. again to convince myself that my life is a lot more successful than hers after all. 

After freshening up and locating her house, I knock on the door and am invited inside by Isabel B. herself. Other former classmates are already standing in the hallway, eyeing me with interest. Among them are Marlene R., Carolin N., Anna-Maria C. and some others whose names I no longer know. They wave at me and yet rave about my achievements, which I try to play down in a modest gratitude. Isabel B. arrogantly tells me that she has become a paediatrician and has already travelled the world. Everyone is amazed at her knowledge and I also feign my blessing, although I am heartily unimpressed by her story. I even feel sorry for her because she doesn't have HIM. HE, the one I cling to tightly, to show how much I love HIM after all. 

Isabel B. leads me into the living room where all her relatives have already gathered. To make room for a dance floor, they have pushed the tables to one side and opened the buffet on the far wall for guests. I cast a glance over the individual family members and think that they do look very funny. Their faces are slightly flushed, their smiles painted on like those of a harlequin. Most of them seem to be stuck to their chairs, because they only move their upper bodies, gesticulating wildly. 

"Here you can hand in your birthday card. But M., you shouldn't have brought a present!" laughs Isabel B. and points me to a stall where an old lady is collecting the guests' present. She is dressed in black and a large pearl necklace adorns her wrinkled neck, which already seems to be succumbing to gravity. Silver curls pile on top of each other and thick horn-rimmed glasses magnify her eyes, which are undermined with red veins. I approach her to hand in my birthday card. Of course, mine is much better turned out than the other guests'. Many are amazed as soon as they see my realistic dinosaur drawings and ask if they can sign their names as well. Since I am of the opinion that I will never see Isabel B. and her clan again anyway, I show myself gracious and allow my fellow guests to immortalise themselves above the head of my T-Rex. 

"But Mrs M., we weren't expecting a present at all. Such a thing would not have been necessary!", the old woman laughs and touches HIS little cloth legs to indicate that she wants to take him from me. 

"Misunderstanding! It's a misunderstanding! Don't touch him! He's mine!", I shout, getting the attention of everyone present. Conversation chokes and only the background music, 90's charts, fills the room. I press HIM against me and demonstrate my love. No one would give up their partner just like that, not to an old woman and not to a four-year-old either. 

The old woman looks at me in amazement and examines me from head to toe, but does not comment further and thanks me again for the card. But I can tell she doesn't really mean it, because her eyes, which are full of red veins, are trembling excitedly. 
Pursued by the looks of the others, I sit down on the sofa and look over the dance floor to get an impression of the party. Isabel B. and Marlene R. whisper and look at me regularly, probably talking badly about me. Surely they are jealous because I am HIS owner. Some overweight uncles fix me with their stares, others have turned away and devoted their attention to the birthday girl. I don't recognise her at first because, despite her young age, she is already so tall that I think she is a twelve-year-old. But after I realise that all the relatives are at least as tall as Isabel B., I am not surprised by the child's tall stature. 

The cake is served and the four-year-old blows out the candles, with everyone clapping and wishing her a happy future! The child laughs, which looks rather unsightly as the tiny milk teeth do not match her huge body and make her look more like a shark. Then the multi-tiered cake is cut and served. To strengthen the surprise effect and to raise the mood, the father sits up - he is not stuck to the chair after all - and begins to screw around with the light bulb. An uncle hands him colourful spotlights, which they only half-heartedly attach to the ceiling, so that the cables come loose and the lamps dangle like the sword of Damocles directly above my head. I get scared as I think they did it on purpose to incapacitate me with the fall of the spotlights. At first I wonder why they would do such a thing, but then I realise one thing: they want HIM! They want my stuffed animal! 

"Quite a lot of commotion, considering she's only turning four. I didn't have a birthday like that when I turned four! Funny, isn't it?", HE whispers to me. I can only agree with him. Something is wrong here, no four-year-old celebrates this big and only in the presence of adults. I want to rise and leave, but I feel that the lower half of my body is stuck to the chair. A possessive tiredness haunts me and I rest my head against HIS. 

"Don't fall asleep! This is a child's birthday party!", Isabel B.'s mother hisses and claps me against the upper arm. I startle and look into her stern expression, which has more of a horse than a woman. In her eyes I can read the cunning with which she wants to take HIM away from me. Now everyone is staring at me, surrounding me like members of a satanic cult. It's quiet and only the 90s charts are playing. Isabel B. has disappeared into the crowd and I look into the shrunken faces of her relatives who stare at me with a critical gaze. I press HIM tightly to my chest. They want HIM. They want to have my stuffed animal.



Submitted: March 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 theonlylegolas. All rights reserved.

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