Aysha held tight to her stuffed puppy as she looked out her bedroom window. “I love you so much, Cuddly. You’re always here for me and you’re so soft. I love to hold you tight and know that no matter what, you’ll always be mine.” That made her smile. She felt alone so much.
“I want to do so many things. I Iove teaching you. Maybe I can be a teacher. Or maybe I can be a runner, or a swimmer, or do all those flips like the people on TV. That looks so fun. I like to color too. Maybe I can be an artist! But I’ll probably never be able to do any of those things. Dad says I’m stupid and girls can’t do anything. He tells Mommy she’s stupid, too. Maybe ALL girls are stupid. Do you think that’s true?” She hugged Cuddly close and kept staring out the window, not really seeing anything.
“I’m not sure I believe him. If I’m stupid, why do I get good grades at school? I really like to learn things. My favorite thing to do is those workbooks where I fill in the words to finish the sentences, like we do in school. They’re my favorites. Can someone who’s stupid do those kind of books? Hmm. Maybe they can. Maybe the books are made for stupid people.”
She had to think about that one. Can that be true? Am I really stupid? Nothing ever seems to turn out like I want and when it does, people act like I didn’t do anything or tell me it wasn’t good enough. I must be good at something, but I don’t know what it is.
“You don’t think I’m stupid, do you? Maybe you’re mad at me or think I’m stupid because I rubbed your ears between my fingers all the time. Now your ears might fall off. Most of your nose and fur are gone too. But I did put your ears up in ponytails so they won’t fall off. Did that hurt you to have your ears in ponytails? That would hurt me. I’m sorry, Cuddly. Please don’t be mad at me. I never meant to hurt you. Maybe Mommy can sew your ears back on if they fall off.” Cuddly looked up at her with his big blue eyes.
“You forgive me, don’t you? You always do. You’re always here and you always forgive me, just like Jesus. You both always love me. I wish others made me feel that way. Instead, I always feel like I did something wrong, even when I’m just sitting somewhere. That makes me mad. But if I act mad, I get in trouble, so I just hold you instead.” Aysha wiped her eyes and cheeks.
“I don’t ever want be mean to people like that. I don’t want to make anyone sad or mad. I want them to know they’re good and I love them. It’s all I really want. I want someone to love me like you do.”
Aysha closed her eyes and drifted off into a dream with Cuddly, who was “always here” for her.
~ Joanna Lynn