Trigger Warning: Psychological Violence and Child Abuse
THE TEDDY BEAR
For 12 or 13 years we were best friends.
I was always her safe haven. I always knew I had to be there, steady and strong, to help her face fears and monsters.
I soon learned that whenever a door slammed, a vase broke, or someone shouted, those were the moments when she would
need me the most.
She would hug me tightly. So tight it would even hurt.
But I didn't complain, I knew she needed that.
And it was like that until her fourteenth birthday.
That year, of the 4 people that had been living in that house, we became 3.
Her father was no longer around, and she didn't need me anymore.
Doors no longer slammed, vases no longer broke and shouts were no longer heard.
But no one was laughing either.
She spoke little and smiled even less. Even so, everything seemed calmer.
That year, she put me away in a box.
And I was left there for a long time.
Around 30 years later, I came out from the back of the attic and moved to a new bedroom, as soon as her daughter
That would be the second generation of that family I would be a part of.
We began sharing days and nights, dreams and nightmares, moments of love and rage.
Her daughter looked a lot like her when she was a child.
Shy, quiet and sweet.
She, on the other hand, of whom I had been so close for 12 or 13 years, reminded me a lot of her mother.
Tense, distant and sad.
There were four of us living in that house, although most of the time there were only three of us. Me, her, and her
Her husband wasn’t around very often.
He always came home late and as soon the doorknob turned, she would swiftly take her daughter and I back to the bedroom.
We didn't see him frequently, but the thin walls of the house revealed a story that was repeating itself for the second
And even though I was already used to that, her daughter wasn't.
I already knew what I had to do.
I needed to hug that little girl, distract her and help her.
I needed to be strong for that child, the same way I’d been for her in the past.
So, we would just stay there.
Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours.
Hugging under the blankets, with all the lights out.
As time passed, that sweet little girl wasn't so sweet anymore.
The hugs grew tighter, to an extend that would hurt.
Playing now involved slapping and punching.
Tenderness became rage.
It was the same story all over again.
I don't know how, or why.
But this time, the ending was not the same.
That evening, the doorknob turned and we went back into the bedroom.
We stayed under the blanket, trying not to hear what was going on in the living room.
But that was impossible.
The shouts were louder. And so was the crying.
She begged him to stop, saying that their daughter was in the bedroom.
The daughter hugged me tighter, between tears and punches.
The noises just kept getting louder and louder.
She said he was drunk. He said she was crazy.
She stopped shouting.
He also stopped.
And we just stayed there.
Hugging, under the blanket.
On the following day, we moved to a new house.
We went to live with her mother, the little girl's grandmother.
Doors no longer slammed, vases no longer broke, and shouts were no longer heard.
But since some things never change, no one was laughing either.
No one was talking.
No one was smiling.
That shy, sweet, quiet girl became tense, distant and sad.
Just like her.
After that day, the daughter no longer needed me.
And maybe she won't remember so soon why she ever did.
The same way she didn’t remember until the day she needed me again.
Sometimes, the only witness cannot speak for you.