For Reals

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

Here is an original story for Friday Fiction -- hot off the presses no less. It's only half the story. I have to figure out the rest before I can write it. Funny how that works:) Friday Fiction is over at Just Joshing. I know it's kind of late but it is still Friday! Lots of good stories waiting to be read. Oh, and I borrowed Laura's Allie's name and she asked if I wanted her picture, too, so of course I did. And today is her birthday. So Happy Birthday, Allie! And thank you!!!

For Reals

Joanne bent down and kissed her daughter’s cheek ever so lightly, “Night, Sweetie. Dream big. Sleep deep.”
“Okay, Mommy. I love you.”
“Love you, too – so very much”
When Allie turned over onto her side, her brown hair fanned out against the pillow and spilled over half her face. “Night, Mommy.”
Joanne peeked at her daughter one last time before she turned off the light and left the room.

Allie pulled her raggedy doll into her chest and whispered, “Patty?”
The doll lay perfectly still. Her cheeks were squished up against the pink and purple pajamas of her owner. She tried to answer Allie. She tried so very hard. And deep in her tiny stuffed mind she said, “What, Allie? Please tell me.”
“I have a secret,” Allie whispered. One single tear fell onto the red yarn hair caught up in doggie ears. The doll captured the tear and put it with the rest that had built up through the years. She may not be able to talk but she was good at soaking up wet, salty Allie tears.
A sob escaped Allie’s lips and she buried her face deeper into her cherished doll so her mommy wouldn’t hear. “I’m scared. I go to the hospital tomorrow. You’re going with me, right?”
Patty wanted to shout, “YES! Of course I’ll come!” as she wrapped her arms around Allie and hugged her tight just like Allie was doing to her now, but she couldn’t. She could only lay still – a silent torture for the sensitive dolly soul.
Soon, Allie fell asleep. She held Patty so very tight that if Patty were real, she wouldn’t have been able to breathe.
Patty watched her friend through her plastic blue button eyes that never once blinked. Her loving gaze was steady. Nothing would happen to Allie on her watch. No way!

Just as the sun streamed into the room, Allie’s mom tiptoed in and sat on her bed. She took hold of Patty and held her close, just like Allie. “Oh Patty, you’ve been a good friend to my Allie. Thank you.” A single tear dripped onto Patty’s head and mixed with all of Allie’s.
Allie stirred.
“Hi Baby. It’s time to get ready,” Joanne whispered.
Allie rubbed her eyes. “Mommy, I’ve been thinking. I like my tonsils. Do I have to get them out?”
Joanne pulled Allie up onto her lap. “Oh Honey, remember how sick you’ve been? It’s not good for you. They have to be taken out. It won’t be so bad. You’ll see. And when you come home, we’ll get you all the ice cream and popsicles you can eat and we’ll watch movies together. Before you know it – you’ll be back to school and playing with your friends again. And you know the very best thing?”
Allie looked up into her mommy’s eyes, “I can’t think of anything good, Mom.”
“The best thing will be that you won’t have anymore pain. That is the very best thing. Let’s get dressed now. Remember, nothing to eat or drink or it might make you sick when you wake up after surgery.”
“Mom? Patty can come, right?”
“Yes, of course she can come. She can stay with me during surgery and then with you the whole rest of the time.” Joanne took out Allie’s clothes and laid them on the bed. “Get your bag packed after you dress and don’t be too long.”

Allie got dressed and stuffed a book and her IPod into a bag then skipped out of the room to look for her dad. Allie jumped into his arms almost before he was ready. “Daddy, when do we leave?”
Randy snuggled his face into his little girl’s neck. “We leave in a few minutes. Are you scared?”
Joanne gave him The Look and Randy looked into Allie’s eyes and said, “You know, baby doll, there’s no reason to be scared. Do you know how many times this doctor does surgeries like this? I betcha about a million trillion times. Maybe I should ask him. Dare me?"
Randy talked in his crazy, dad's trying to be cool voice, "Dr. Watchamcallit, exactly how many times have you stuck your hand into little girl and boy’s mouths while they’ve slept? And Doctor Hoochiwachi, do you know the Tooth Fairy?”
Allie giggled, “It’s Dr. Washburn, Dad, and you are very silly. Besides that, I already asked him and he said a quarter of a billion times and I just happened to be the quarter of a billion and oneth time.”
Joanne handed them both their coats. “I think you’re both silly. Come now, it’s time to go. Randy, can you get Allie’s bag? Allie, you go hop into the van.”
Both Father and Daughter looked at each other and smiled because they knew that being silly was the only way to keep from crying when you’re scared.”
Allie buckled into her seat and waited patiently. Joanne soon followed. Randy, on the other hand, walked into Allie’s room and picked up the bag. And then he noticed dear Patty and went to grab her because he just knew that Allie meant for Patty to go.

Just at that exact moment, a series of circumstances happened that were totally out of Randy’s control. Allie’s Sheltie ran into the room at full speed. Randy tried to get out of the way but it was much too late. Casey tripped him. And while Randy was on the floor checking for bruises, Casey jumped onto the bed and grabbed the doll. Randy noticed and tried to take hold but Casey was too fast. He jumped off the bed and dragged poor Patty off with him.
Big globs of sweat fell into Randy’s eyes. “Casey! When I get my hands on you…” And of course, the angry voice made Casey run away much faster. Randy watched as Patty was jostled left and right.
Randy followed a line of red yarn hair until the trail stopped.
“Honey?” Joanne yelled through the doorway. “Is everything okay? We’re going to be late the way it is.”
Randy called back, “Coming dear,” to his wife but to Casey he said, “Dog, when I catch you, and I will catch you, nothing better be wrong with that doll. I’ll be back.” And with those parting words, Randy scooped up the overnight bag and hoped and prayed that Allie would forget about her doll, by some strange miracle.

Casey jumped onto the couch. Patty hung from his mouth at an odd angle. She watched her best friend drive away from her.
And then – two mysteriously wonderful things happened:
Patty moved. While she hung from Casey’s mouth, she spread her little rag arms out towards Allie.
And then do you know what?
She was able to talk. Patty cried out, “Don’t leave me, Allie. I love you,” just as the van pulled out of the driveway. The sound must have scared Casey because he dropped her right on her bottom. Casey’s tongue hung out and Patty sat with her arms stretched out as far as they could go.
They sat for a long, long time. Soon Casey began to whimper and salty wet tears fell from Patty’s eyes for the very first time. She supposed they were all the built up tears from Allie. “Why did you leave me?” she cried out.
Casey licked her, and in his own doggy way, it was his apology. The dog curled up into a ball and Patty wrapped her arms around him. They stayed like that for a very long time.

Just as Randy merged onto the busy early morning traffic on the interstate, Allie cried out, “I forgot Patty! Daddy, please go back. I need her.”
“Honey, I noticed and just when I went to get her, Casey grabbed the doll and ran off. I couldn’t catch him. I’m sorry,” Randy explained with tears bubbling in his eyes.
Joanne moved to sit beside Allie and hugged her tight. “It will be okay. I promise.”
Allie wiped her eyes. “No Mommy, it won’t. You don’t understand. It will be just as hard on Patty as it is on me.”
Allie’s heart broke. Her best friend was at home on the very day Allie needed her most. And she knew, deep down in her heart, that Patty’s heart hurt right now, too. Allie knew she was a doll but she was also more than that – she was her very best friend. And there is something mysteriously special about best friends.
Best friends know when the other hurts even when they aren’t nearby and even if they aren’t really real. But Patty was for reals. Really, really real.
Allie forgot to be scared about her surgery. Her heart had an odd feeling in it - like a pang. She jumped because it scared her.

Patty felt a tingle in her chest and she didn't know what it was. The only way she could describe it in her limited doll language would be like - like a pang. And she jumped because it scared her.

To be continued...

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Powered by Blogger.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP