This Girl

I’ve known her for years, this girl. I was with her when she was depressed and comforted her when she cried. Oh man, did this one cry. So much that whenever she hugged me, tears would soak me completely. Or close enough at least. I still remember how she could go from complete misery one minute to utter happiness the next and vice versa.

She’s one of those popular girls at school, but when she’s with me, the girls showed a much softer side. One where she was gentle, a victim, if you will, of the world’s cruelness. And she confided in me, so much that she told me everything about her day. I mean every single detail too. She told me about her friends, classes, guys, everything; she needed on me to listen. And I did too, for years.

We met, me and this girl, when she turned five. Her birthday party, a day I will never forget. I mean, I knew I was going to meet her that day but I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know she would grow up needing me this much or that I would age wanting to help her as much as possible.

Financial problems stirred when she was about five and a half; her father was laid off and to make it worse, this girl’s mom died the same day. It was a bank robbery gone horribly wrong. She tried to be a hero, and died as a victim. This girl was at kindergarten, playing with all the other children. Her father came in and told her the worst news any parent has to tell their child. “Mommy’s not coming home, sweetie.” At first, this girl thought it was a game of hide and seek. She tugged at me, telling me her mom would be found soon enough. Hours passed, then days and months. When the anniversary came around the following year, things in her household had gone topsy turvey.

She was in an abusive family. Her father began drinking that day and it turns out he was an angry alcoholic. Constantly he’d beat this girl, driving her to the ground bruised and battered. Church was no longer important, as her father had a hangover on those days. Despite that, this girl prayed her heat out. I remember her at the age of seven or eight, saying, “Why is daddy always so angry, Lord? He has no faith left, I can see it. But why? Mommy has been gone so long, I think he misses her, but why won’t she come back? Why can’t she just be here to keep my family together? Lord, this must be part of a higher purpose but I do not see it. Protect Mommy, wherever you may have sent her, protect daddy from himself and if it is not too much to ask, protect me…”

Whenever I heard this girl say these things, I swear I wanted to roll into a ball. It pained me to hear this, every time we were together, she said these words and each time, I felt worse and worse. I wished I could talk to her, to tell her about her mother and protect her from her father. But I couldn’t. I wouldn’t know what to say…

It was when she entered high school, this girl that her father’s abuse ended. The school nurse noticed all those faded bruises and poorly healed cuts on her and called this girl’s father. She questioned each injury and he excused everyone. Luckily for this girl, the nurse was not convinced. She requested a visitation right and went to this girl’s house the next day. When she walked in the house, she saw a clean home, a lovely dinner and a happy family. All of it was a lie. Earlier that day, this girl’s father threatened her. A worse beating if the house was not spotless. Meanwhile, he’d buy some food and arrange it on a plate, wetting pots and pans to show that cooking materials were used.

Nurse came in and was shocked. After a short evening, she went home only to remember at the end of this girl’s footsteps that her purse was on the table. She walked up the porch and grabbed the handle then heard a thud. She opened the door and saw this girl on the floor and her father’s eyes enraged. She saw too much before they realized she was watching. She called the police and took this girl with her.

This girl packed up and went with Nurse. She told me she felt safe, as if her nightmare was finally over. And it was. Nurse adopted this girl and they lived happily together. This girl grew up religious, even though she went through pain and Nurse grew to be a happy mom.

And that is the story of this girl. And as for me? I was with her since she was five, and continue to be with her still. She has a caring husband and children. But we are still close, this girl and I. Even if I am only a teddy bear.





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