Long Lost Friend
There is a box on the top shelf where all the memories are. Sometimes, when I’m feeling lonely and sorry for myself, I take the box down and free the contents.
She was three when we first met – she fed me carrot sticks and we looked for ladybirds in the garden. In the box there is a photo of her chasing bubbles on a sunny afternoon. It hurts to remember that day – I can still hear her excited laughter. The bubbles looked like floating jewels. Everytime she caught one she shared it with me.
Winter was our favourite season. Bundling up against the cold. Gazing in awe at our billowing breath – usually invisible. In the Summer we missed the reassuring clouds. To comfort ourselves we breathed on windows and wrote our names. In the box is a homemade christmas card addressed to me. I trace her name and the kisses with the tip of my finger – over and over again. It always makes me smile to see the backwards ‘b’ in the middle.
We loved Christmas – sneaking spiced cookies from the kitchen, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows and teasing each other about our milky moustaches. One year she insisted that her grown up make a marzipan me to join the other decorations on the top of the fruity cake. On Christmas eve we played the ‘who can stay awake the longest’ game – I always won. She was so generous – sharing her presents with me.
We did everything and went everywhere together – I was happy.
As she became older we spent less time with each other – I took comfort in the knowledge that she hadn’t forgotten me as she would still call upon me from time to time. We played less. Instead she told me secrets and made me promise I wouldn’t share them with anyone… ever. Eventually I was replaced by a new toy. It was so needy – it took up all of her time with its flashing lights, singing and shiny screen. It stayed with her constantly and all too quickly I started to fade. Sometimes I tried to sabotage the new toy by cutting off its power when she slept. I hoped that she would remember me in its absence. I soon stopped doing this when I saw how much distress this caused her. She was far too upset to talk to me.
There is a box on the top shelf where all the memories are. I wait there – an item of lost property. One day I will be claimed and we will need a bigger box.