Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Departure

It’s time for a little story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin...


I knew something was amiss. Why else would things begin to disappear from around the house? The old chair was one of the first things to go. I had loved to climb onto that chair and feel myself sink into the sagging cushion. Then toys began to vanish. Those in the closet at the back of the bedroom. There was the bunny with the chewed ear; the teddy bear with the stuffing bursting from under its armpits. It was the soft toys that I would miss. Snuggling amongst them, I could almost smell the past.

On the other hand, boxes began to appear; things were packed into them. She did most of the packing. Storing this, putting that aside to give away, tossing the other onto the discard pile. She was too busy to pay much attention to me. The family spent a great deal of time in animated discussions, but I could understand little of what was said. I recognized my name occasionally. Mostly, I could read the excitement in the air that made me irritable and jittery, and for a time I hid myself away. There were many places to hide.

Sometimes they took me over to the neighbour’s house. To keep me out of the way, I suppose. At least she talked to me, played with me; gave me some yummy things to eat. It, whatever it was, was drawing closer. I just knew it.

When the day came, when the big truck arrived, when they began to pile the boxes and furniture into it, as the house emptied around me, I scampered here and there, getting out of the way; getting in the way. Eventually I was hoisted aloft and carried once more into the neighbour’s house. There were tears. Goodbyes, or so it seemed. Through the window I saw the truck pull away. And from the rear of the family car, as it, too, pulled away, red eyes stared, hands waved. The neighbour came to me and took me in her arms. She carried me to another room, and placed me on the floor, in one corner. And there they were, on my favourite old chair: the one-eyed bunny and the leaking teddy. I smelt the memories and curled up amongst them, purring to myself.

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