Finding Heart

August 7, 2008
By Kylie Poppen, Eagle, ID

Silence. Anticipation. A push. A pull. Anxiety. Silence. Scratch that, utter silence.
I didn’t know that I could clear a mall on a Saturday afternoon, but this new feat brings my self-esteem to a whole new low. I’m not entirely certain I have any esteem left, in fact, I guess that’s why I’m here: to find a heart.

Shock registers as I pass window after window, musing where small girls, with ice cream cones and pink ribbons tugging at their mother’s sleeve could have possibly disappeared. Step by step I cautiously traverse the stained, vibrant yellow, cracked tile, my feet seemingly knowing which way to follow the yellow path. A heart is what I need, what I have lost in the chaos of the city. I never saw liquid in the glass that was allegedly half-full. A bright light blinded my vision. Surely such a place would have a heart, all for one convenient, over-inflated price.

Abruptly, I find myself standing in front on the Build-A-Bear Workshop. I must be kidding myself, but my feet had seemed to follow the yellow path directly here.

I cautiously open the door, it’s abnormally silent and dark inside.

A tantalizing glow appears from far away. “Hello?”…I wait…Still no answer “Helloooooooooo?” I swifly approach the glow, “Excu-”

“AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Somebody please help.” There definitely is somebody here.

I dash madly to the glow, finding the glow to be a small but blazing fire. “Ma’am?” I question, blind from the intensity of the fire.

“Oh no, no, no!” She responds to my inquiry, “The Pride!”

“Ma’am,” I find myself saying, “how can I help? What is going on here? And what is the pride?”

“Oh sir, you see, the Pride is an infamous group of Build-A-Bears that travel secretly from store to store. Nobody but the store manager ever knows where the pride resides, for the pride holds far to much Build-A-Bear goodness. But you see, I have been making crème brule and the blow torch took captive of one of the Pride member’s ears.”

I pivot and take my first look at the entire scene. How magnificent the Pride was! How beautiful! How breathtaking! I rip the fire extinguisher of the wall with the gusto of a man on adrenaline. I must save the pride, not that I’m necessarily capable, because I’m most certainly not, but this was a matter of security.

Clouds of white dust plume out of the hose as I extinguish the small fire on the poor little bear’s ear. “That should be all of the fire.” I said.

“Oh but sir, we must repair his ear so that none will ever know!”

I search the Workshop for a sign of an extra ear. Aha! Of course, they are right next to the bin of hearts! I then grab a sewing kit and lovingly stitch a new ear on the Pride member. “Good as new!” I exclaim.

“Oh sir, I have no way to appropriately thank you! I can, however, grant you one wish, whatever you desire is my command.”

“As foolish as is sounds,” I bashfully say, “I need a heart.”

“Oh but sir,” she replies, “don’t you see that you’ve had it all along?”

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