I hope you all enjoy this short story entitled “Teddy Bear”
My brother died last week. He was four years younger than me, a toddler really. An accident in both his life and his death. No matter, I loved him more than anyone ever could and he was taken from me.
How, you ask? I’d rather not say.
His room became a shrine to my family. They didn’t want to touch anything, to risk moving anything in the fear of ruining what he had created.
He left it a mess, his room. The door remains closed but I know that hiding behind it is chaos and confusion.
They leave me at home a lot with him, well his memory at least. At night, when my parents are out trying to forget their pain, I swear I can hear him calling to me from his room, crying for me to read him a goodnight story or to sing him his favorite lullaby one more time.
I hear my mom crying at night. I hear her wake my dad up with sobs. It’s not her fault. It was an accident.
To everyone else, to those that wondered if we were okay, we told them we were doing fine. We told them that we would get through it with each other. But I was being ignored. I was being overlooked, outshined by the memory of my brother. And that was okay.
Everyone says they’re there for you, everyone says they care, but you find out a persons true intentions when you’re in the midst of tragedy. There’s nothing anyone can do to calm the maelstrom raging inside, but they all want to help. At least they want to help.
It happened one day, when my parents were trying to forget. I heard him calling to me. I heard him crying for me.
The voice, it was too loud, too much for me to ignore. I couldn’t resist.
His door was closed, but never locked. It was easier than I thought, getting inside.
Of course he wasn’t there, no logical part of my brain would think he was really in his room. Nevertheless I was disappointed still, the wave of grief spreading over me again.
The room matched his personality. It was beautiful even though it was a mess.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw it, his teddy bear. The one he slept with every night.
Could I pick it up? It would remind me so much of him.
But I know I shouldn’t. Mom and dad would be so upset.
Once it’s in my room I have nowhere to hide it but under my bed where this precious item can gather dust.
But it smells like him.
One sniff at a time, but every moment I have it close to my nose, I can imagine that he is still with us. One moment at a time I can cross the bridge between death and life.
I know I have to be careful though because my scent can get on it too if I hold it too close for too long. My smell can overpower his, wiping the last remaining tangible sense that can remind me of him.
I know I have to be careful, and I am, for a short time.
But slowly his smell begins to fade. I have to press my nose farther and farther into the bears head to get what I once could have by merely holding it.
He was slowly moving farther and farther away and there was nothing I could do about it.
It’s been a year now, since my brother passed away. He would have been eight.
The smell is almost gone and I have probably one more night with him.
I lay down on my bed with his teddy bear next to me and, a little bit at a time, fall asleep with him right next to me, for one more night, as I say goodbye to the brother that I once knew and loved.
Did you like it? Did you hate it? What could I do to fix it?
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