“Are you sure you want to take him?”
I look at Mum and smile. “Yeah, without him I might not sleep.”
In my hands is a soft toy, a dog. It is floppy and almost flat and looks more like a cushion as opposed to a toy, but he has been my companion for eight years, since I was five. The puppy was a Christmas present and one of a kind, it had said so on his kennel type box. I didn’t think I could cope without him, especially in Paris. It is just so far away.
“Okay, but you be careful not to lose him.” I gave her a massive grin and said that there was no way I would.
The only problem was that Fred, my rather squashed pup, never came back. To this day I don’t know what happened. Maybe the kids I was with decided that I was too old and they threw him away, or maybe I forgot him, but on the bus waiting for the ferry I realised that Fred was missing.
“Has anyone seen Fred?”
“My soft toy?”
“I thought I saw it in your bed…” one said.
A teacher stopped and scowled at the girls and then turned her gaze to me. “If you can’t find it I will write to the hotel and see if the maid has found it.”
I said nothing. What could I say? That I wanted to go back and rescue my toy? I would just look daft.
And that was the last I saw of Fred. He was gone.
Sometimes I hope he went to a child who loved him but I think he ended up in the bin. Why he was left behind when I know I packed him I don’t know. But because I didn’t cry and make a fuss the rest of the girls in the group pretty much left me alone until we got home. School was the same of course, but I never allowed anyone to know that my prized possession was gone. I never let on how much it hurt that the toy my parents had saved for and given in love had been removed from my care.
And yes, maybe I forgot him. But I don’t think so. The girls on that bus looked far too smug and then disappointed at my reaction. They thought they had committed the perfect crime but I never gave them the satisfaction of seeing me upset.
This post was inspired by the daily prompt – pride and joy.