Bye-Bye, Teddy Bear

January 11, 2009
It was Christmas 2001. That year, I woke up with just as much anticipation as any other eleven-year-old would have, maybe a little too much. We had this random “family tradition” where all the kids, all six of us, would line up on the stairs to take a picture of us coming down. Not all of us would fit on the stairs so some of us had to lean over the edge in order to get in the picture. I was one of those leaning over the edge, the last one as a matter of fact. You can see it in my face, how badly I wanted to get downstairs, and race to my pile of presents and just tear open the wrapping paper that concealed everything that I asked for that year, and more. As soon as that flash was over, I pushed all of my brothers and sisters to get down the stairs. But, being the youngest, all I got was a push back while they looked in their stockings that lined the staircase.

Finally, I got downstairs, plopped down next to a big pile of presents that I could clearly tell was mine, and began ripping everything. I ripped every piece of wrapping paper up, and with every rip my smile got bigger and bigger. I received so many books, movies, games, clothes, etc. Then I reached for an oddly-shaped present that read “To: Emma From: Danny”, one of my brothers. I began to open the present delicately so I wouldn’t break or rip anything.

As the paper began to tear away, a little more of this mysterious object became revealed. I saw one ear: one side black and the other side beige. The material was really fancy and soft to the touch, like a comfortable blanket. I tore more of the paper and another ear appeared just like the other one. O.K. I thought to myself, I think I know what this is. But I didn’t want to jinx it. I kept unwrapping and finally held the present in my hands and stared at it with joy in my eyes.
I was staring at the teddy bear from Bombay and Company that I had been eyeing one night out shopping with my family. The black, beige, and white shiny bear with the red ribbon tied in a bow around its neck. I had picked it up out of a basket full of teddy bears right at the entrance of the store. I carried it around while we were walking throughout the store. The bears were one of the store’s Christmas specials that year so they were all over the store. But then a sad thing happened, we were rung up at the counter and I had to leave the bear at the basket at the door, little did I know that my brother had something in the works.

The bear earned a prominent spot on my bed. Then, one night during Christmas break I decided to sleep in our guest room on the first floor. I brought the bear down to sleep with. The next morning, I put the bear on the nightstand next to the bed. I never went back to get it and bring it upstairs because I thought it added to the rich feel of the room.

Then, on one fateful Sunday two months later, Danny wasn’t feeling well. My dad and I went to Quizno’s for lunch and got him some soup. Danny ate with us and tried to eat as much soup as he could, but he still wasn’t feeling well so he wanted to go back to the guest room. The guest room, over the years, has become the place to relax, sleep, and watch TV while we’re sick. So back to the guest room he went. A couple hours later, Danny got sick. After my parents were helping him back into bed, I walked in to see if everything was O.K.

It was like a scene in a movie. In slow motion, I opened the door more and saw my mom and dad helping Danny and trying to clean up the mess. Somehow, for some unknown reason to us, the mess had reached behind the door, even though it was open and against the wall. I felt bad for my brother because he looked so weak and sick. Then I looked at the nightstand.

“Mom? Dad? Where’s my bear?” I asked, dreading the truth.

My dad just shook his head and looked down. He was caring a white garbage bag in his hand as he walked out the door. The shape of the bag was the very same shape of the present that I had opened on Christmas day.

“I’m sorry Emma, I didn’t mean to,” Danny said as he laid his head back on the pillow.

That was the last time I saw that bear. The store ran out and wasn’t going to get anymore. I will never again hug that bear and feel its soft fur against my face.

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