The Empty Plastic Bear.

Reads: 358  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story Of how a day off from work can turn into a nightmare in an instant. One minute you are simply making breakfast, the next you are struggling to save some ones life. No matter what we are doing at any given time, no one is safe from the unexpected.

Submitted: January 24, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 24, 2010

A A A

A A A


I am not psychic. I would never claim to be. Although I do believe psychics are out there, like most people I am skeptical of them...But what about coincidence? What strange line up of the cosmos causes life to fall into situations that otherwise would have seemed unlikely? This is what I pondered as I looked down at the small, teddy bear shaped, plastic bottle in my hand; Wondering how its fate could have told me the fate of this day.
Although the rest of the world is at work today, this is my weekend. Right smack, dab, in the middle of the week. Since I work in a restaurant, I don’t really get out much. It seems like my job is nothing but being ‘out.’ So I like hanging around my apartment. Even though it is so small, it is home.
I have three windows. The two over my bed at the front of my building, which I keep heavy drapes over to block out the sun in the morning, and one in my tiny kitchen. It’s not very big and boasts a ‘lovely’ view ofthe alley behind my building.
After washing my face in the tiny bath room, I pivoted the corner into my kitchen. Just over my two burner stove I reached into the cupboard to pull out a plate, my only pan, the pancake mix and…the syrup.
I couldn’t quite reach it though. The cupboards were so tall to compensate for the lack of space. As tall as I am I still had to stand on my tip of my toes and try to inch the bottle to the edge with my finger tips.
I tipped the shelf slightly trying to slide the bottle close enough to clutch it before it could fall. But I fumbled and watched in what seemed like slow motion as the bottle toppled; head first over my hand, pasted my arm, then my elbow, past my shoulder, and stopping for a second at my waist to do a summer salt off the counter top. With that came a change in direction as the bottle hit the shade on my window before its final decent to the floor.
My heart sank with it as I quickly realized that the syrup was now pouring out of the teddy bear shaped bottle. I turned and crouched down to pick it up and close the cap. The golden goo had already made a puddle on the floor. I rolled the bottle back and forth inbetween my hands examining it in disbelief over how this could have happened.
I noticed the teddy bear had cracked along the seam of its inner thigh as its contents continued to bleed out into my hands.
I shouldn’t have been upset. I should have been comforted by the fact that I could go right down the stairs and up the block to get a new “Teddy” to finish making my breakfast. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had somehow let this Teddy down. Had I been more careful, had I grabbed a chair. The Teddy would not be seeping the lastof his life onto the floor.
Slowly I stood up. My intention had been to turn to the sink and wash off the bottle, and my hands, and start cleaning the devastation I had created. But as I stood my heart stopped. My eyes had met the window, and just through a narrow opening in the shadeanother set of eyes met mine.
My own breath drowned out a scream as my heart was now racing. This couldn’t be real. I was five stories up and the fire escape was in the front of my apartment by my bedroom windows. How could there be eyes looking back at me. My hands were shaking vigorously as I reach for the shade never taking my concentration away from the other gaze peering back at me. I pulled on the string as the blinds glided upwards to reveal what could not be.
Not, one set of eyes…but two sets. Two sets full of tears, and fear. Fear so strong it had turned their faces red making their blonde hair look darker than it would have appeared otherwise. They were boys. Neithermore than twelve years old
I followed their faces down to their clothes. The one closest to me in a white T-shirt and jeans, the one further back had a blue shirt and matching jeans. Somehow they had both straddled separate sets of clothes lines and cable cords that ran between the buildings. Somehow they had climbed across them. Somehow they were here, four stories above dumpsters and parked cars, and fences and alley. Somehow I had to get them in.
There wasn’t time to call 911. I had to do something. I opened the window and asked how they had gotten there.
The first boy sobbed, “I let out my mother’s bird, my brother told me I had to get him back or I would be in trouble. I could see him across the alley on that porch. I was going to climb to him from our porch…”
The second boy close in age but obviously older cut him off, “I felt bad so I climbed out here to help him…Oh, my God I am so scared”
I swallowed back tears as I tried to compose myself enough to make a reach for the closest boy. I braced myself on the sill and continued to talk to them trying to calm them. “Where are your parents? At work?”
The first boy closed his eyes and slowly nodded.
“What are your names?” I was able to reach far enough out to get my hand on the first boy’s arm. He let out a breath and reveled his name was Daniel and his brother was Jake.
He wasn’t that far out. I could probably get him in easily. But Jake was another story. He was close enough to reach his brother but way to far from my window for me to reach him.
I thought about having us all link arms and trying to steady them enough to climb across the lines to the window. But if either of them lost grip they would fall and probably pull us all down. My only hope was to get Daniel in and then to secure his brother somehow till I could get more help.
There wasn’t much around to work with. Jakes lines looked week, and they were so far apart that he had an obvious hard time keeping balance. If I could pull in Daniel maybe Jake could grab one of the closer lines to stable himself.
“Look guys” I said trying not to show how scared I was in hopes that it would calm them, “I am going to pull you guys into my house. Everything is going to be alright. You just have to work with me so we can do this ok?”
They both sniffled, and tried to look at me through their tears. I realized the boys couldn’t even let go to wipe their eyes without falling.
I took a breath and tried to guide Daniels hand to the window sill. He was stiff with fear, and I can imagine he was sore from being out there trying tobalance. As he gripped the sill I told him to hold on tight as I braced myself again and reached out to grab his other hand and guide it towards the window sill. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it.
“Ok Danny, I am going to grab your pant waist and heave you in, you go when I say ‘ok’” I said, looking him square in the eye to make sure he understood what to do and when.
He nodded at me and I gave him the “ok” as we both scrambled him in to the window and hit the floor. As he stood up I cupped his cheeks in both Of my hands and looked him square in the eye once again “GOOD JOB!!!, Now we are going to get your brother ok?”
He nodded again in relief and we both turned towards the narrow window to start bringing his brother in.
“Ok Jake, Daniel is in. You can do this, ok?… I want you to reach over towards us and grab the line he was on. It’s closer to you now.”
He bowed his head for a second and brought it up shaking “no” with his eyes full of more tears. He was so scared, and his balance was not very stable.
I thought if he could just hold still till help could get here we could get him down. I turned to his brother, “Daniel go into my bedroom and grab the phone from my headboard. Dial 911 and tell them what is going on.”
I turned back to Jake, he was still sobbing and breathing hard. He was frozen stiff, but he needed to move. The lines he was on were not as strong as the other set, and he needed at least one more to stay balanced even if he had to wait for the fire dept.
“Jake, look…Youneed to get an extra line under you. I don’t think the ones you are on, are going to hold you much longer. You can do this sweetie,you just have to try.”
He shook his head understanding what I had just told him, then he sucked in his breath and tried to wipe his face on his shoulder with little luck.
I watched closely how the lines moved as he did that and then tried to instruct him on how to reach for another line. “Listen, I want you to squeeze your legs around the clothes lines you are on, keep a good tight grip with your left hand on the line its on, then slowly reach over with your right hand and grab your brothers line.”
He shook his head in compliance. I watched carefully as he tried to tighten his grip with his legs, and laid out to slowly lift his hand off of one line and try to reach for another. His fingers barely getting enough of it to pull towards him until he could get a good grip. I felt helpless just watching, unable to reach him as he almost lost his balance on the lines under him.
“Oh, My God, I don’t want to fall!” he yelled and fought back more sobs.
I leaned out the window trying to reach towards him, and at the same time trying not to lose my own balance. “It’s Ok Jake…We are going to get you out of this.” I said in a loud but controlled voice. I had to calm him down.
Danny was at my side, and I could hear him telling me that the fire department was coming but the words were not conscience to my brain, all I could do was focus on Jake.
The lines under him where sagging with his weight and one had dropped. He still had his fist clenched on the line closer to me. “Jake, Pull that line towards you and as you do that let go of the other line and get both hands on the same line.” He nodded and tried to improve his grip to make the reach. A second later he had both hands on the stronger line. But his position was awkward; I could see he wouldn’t be able to hold it long.
“Daniel, go get a sheet from my bed. We have to try and get something out to him”
Itwisted the sheet and threw it out towardshim to try and grab. Our eyes locked for a second. “Try to grab this so I can pull you in Ja…ke” The last of the words screamed from my mouth and I watched helplessly as he disappeared into the shadows of the alley. His brothers scream amplified my own. I turned quickly towards him as his face was paled in horror.
We both turned to the stairs and ran down the four flights to the alley. Before I could reach the knob I could hear the sirens of the Fire trucks and the Ambulance in the distance.
My heart was beating out of my chest as my fingers fumbled and fought the lock on the door. My own tears would not let me see enough to get the damn door open, but with the help of Danny I finally did.
The ground was wet and cold, but my feet were numb to it as I stumbled through the junk and trash to get to the only place he could have landed…the dumpster.
Even though I knew the rescue crew was steps behind me now, I still climbed in. I had to see, I had to know if he was alive.
Tthere he was looking up at me, unable to move or speak. I dug through the garbage around him to try and get my arms under his body. His blood was warm and wet on my hands. There was so much of it. The whole length of his leg was crimson. Here I was looking at the puddle of life leaving this boy and all I could see was the broken teddy bear bottle on my kitchen floor.
I looked again into his eyes as I tried to brush the grime and dried tears off his face, but I only made it worse by smearing more grime and blood there. A few seconds later I was rushed out of the dumpster and replaced by EMS.
I walked from the dumpster towards Danny. His eyes searching my face for an answer but my blood soaked shirt gave it up without a word from my lips. Shaking his head as if what he was seeing was a lie, he tried to run past me to the EMS workers who were now trying to extract his brother. I put my hands around him and tried to tell him to “let them do what they need to do”
But he just collapsed in my arms screaming “NO!”
EMS took both of the boys to the hospital and reassured me that they would contact their parents as soon as possible. I gave one last worried look to the vehicles being packed with people and went upstairs to my apartment for a shower and a cry.
As evening fell this is where I found myself. Sitting here on the step in front of my apartment building empty, broken, sad, syrupless teddy bear in hand; pondering how this little bear could have set me on this path today.
Honestly the two events had no relationship what so ever. Yet here I am reliving them as if they were the same incident; mourning the teddy bear, and mourning that boy.
Trying to shake off that feeling I stood up and walked over to the trash can in front of my building. I reached out to rid myself of this cursed, damaged, bear for good. As I did, another hand reached out to cover mine and stopped me, but only to grab my attention.
The hand had a pretty French manicure and a collection of gold and silver rings on it. My eyes followed the hand up the length of a black, crocheted, sweater over pink and white nursing scrubs; to a teary eyed, woman whose curly, frayed hair matched the shade of the sweater. She was just a few years older than me, and she was smiling through her obvious pain.
My eyes caught movement just beyond her shoulder, Danny was standing with another woman who very much resembled the woman holding my hand.
“Thank You,” She said as she stepped forward and embraced me so tight I could hardly breathe.
The bottle in my hand disappeared into the trash can. I hugged her back as I choked down tears to reply, “Is he ok?”
“No, But he is alive.” She cupped my hand and shook it firmly as she looked into my eyes. “They both would have been gone, I don’t know what they were thinking…but thank you.”
I never caught the lady’s name but I watched her walk away with her son. When they were gone I turned to go inside, but stopped short of the door. I couldn’t go in, not yet. I walked back to the trash can and picked up the Teddy bear bottle… Now I could go in.


© Copyright 2020 mickibits. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments