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Kayla Angelie Romero | Age: 19

Description: "I have a Teddy Bear named Harry because he was hairy. He is one of my oldest plushie's and I still hug him now and then. In general, I really like stuffed animals so I wanted to write about them."

I love Tommy. He’s already 4. I’ve been here since the beginning of his life. He was so cute as a baby, he’d sometimes trip and fall but would always smile when he sees me, his beloved stuffed bear. He named me Harry, because I was hairy. He imagined me as a savior, a knight in a shiny red bowtie, someone he can trust and spend his time with. Every time he was scared, he would hold me and I would watch over him and defend him from what he was afraid of; the dark, the potential monster underneath the bed, and whenever the lightning brings the thunder. He believed in me. I would be able to reassure him to sleep.

Tommy turned 8 today. He doesn’t hold me as much as he used to now, but I get to watch him. He’s much better at walking and even joined a soccer team. He’s really into soccer these days. He brought me to a soccer match today. There was so many people there! I can see him far away in this weirdly shaped yard with white lines and besides the white lines there was two strange looking nets. I don’t know how soccer works, but I could tell he was really into it. His team won in the end and did a whole celebration! He held up a trophy in the air and I was so proud of him. He got to take the trophy home and he was entranced with it.

Tommy turned 16 today. He goes by Tom now but I will always see him as young little Tommy. I don’t feel as bright as I used to. I have some seams coming off but I am still huggable. Although, Tommy doesn’t hug me anymore. I am however at a new location, high on his shelf, above his several soccer trophies. He looks up at me sometimes. It lets me know that he still remembers me and cares for me.

Tommy should be 32 by now. I haven’t seen him for ages. But I know that I’ll see him again. His mother moved me to the attic. Its funny. I was the one to protect Tommy all those years ago when he was afraid. But now, I am the one who is becoming scared. I started to gain Tommy’s fears when he was a young boy. It’s very dark here. We live in a wet country so rain was one of the only sounds I ever hear. Sometimes, it rains awfully hard, like today. Rain started to pound above me, accompanied with the roar of thunder, threatening

to hurt someone or me. The rain only emphasized the loneliness and fears in the dark. Is there a monster here with me in the darkness? Will I see Tommy again? Dust bunnies are already surrounding me and eventually I get covered in them. I get lost in sense of time.

I don’t know how long its been now. But I hear the doorknob clatter. Suddenly, I see Tommy, for the first time in years. He has a beard now, I should call him ‘Harry’ now, huh? He has a hard time walking. I think one of his legs is missing. He approaches a box and starts shifting through his things. I saw his old soccer ball, deflated and worn. He looks sad. I would be sad too, I knew how much he adored it. His old soccer trophies line the wall, all also laced with dust. Its been forever since someone has been up here.

I see a woman carrying a little girl come up into the attic that I’ve never seen before. “Tommy? Why are you up here?” Said the woman. “I’m just looking at past memories Alice. Don’t bring Gracie up here, its covered in dust.” I can see that the child was more than a year old already. She looks a lot like Tommy when he was younger.

I was then picked up by Tommy. He brushed off the dust on me. His hands were bigger than when I last felt them. They were rough and some callus were starting to emerge on his palms. Where has he been all these years? My seams are starting to fail. I’ve never been so happy to see someone all these years.

“What’s that you have?” Tommy brought me over to her where there isn’t much dust. The woman acted with caution while the child was reaching out towards me. She was extremely careful to make sure the child doesn’t get the dust that was on me still. “Aw this is a cute bear, Love.” Tommy looked back to her. “He was my childhood bear. I named him Harry, because of his nice fur. I can’t believe he’s still here.” He glanced over at the child. He smiled softly and said, “I think Gracie likes him.” Alice starts to examine me from where I am. “I can fix him up. I think Gracie has taken a liking to him.” The child in her arms giggles and waves her arms around.

And just like that, Alice fixed me up. My threads no longer were unruly, and I even gained a clothing collection besides my red bowtie. Alice and Tommy introduced me to Gracie. Tommy held me and Alice said, “Gracie, sweetie, this is Harry. Do you want to hold him?” Tommy placed me down. Gracie looked over at me and was delighted. She crawled toward me gleefully. Tommy looked happy.

I was excited when I got tucked into bed with Gracie. I get to watch Tommy’s child grow up. Even if she couldn’t hear me, I told her stories about her father. I told her, when she was afraid of the dark, that her father also was afraid of the dark, and I was the one who protected him and kept him company. When he had lost a soccer match, I was there to give him comfort, and he would always spring back up ready for the next match. I told her about the many different memories I have of Tommy that made me love him. From now on, I will do the same for you Gracie. Just as I loved Tommy, I will love you too.

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