Teddy Bear

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The flickering light of the television dimly lit the room, casting dancing shadows on the walls. TV trays with the empty plates from the evening meal sat quietly in the middle of the floor. The gray, tattered couch was empty except for a worn teddy bear that was seated as if watching the evening news. The other chair in the room held a man in his late forties. The man sat back in his chair and worked the remote with his thumb. He had the TV on mute. The sound of a car backing out of the driveway faded off and the man clicked the channel button on the remote without seeing what was on the screen. For a time he sat in silence, breathing slowly. Then he looked at the bear seated on the couch. The bear had been with them since his son was eight years old. Jason had taken it everywhere when he was younger. There were so many memories stuck inside that stuffing. The man felt himself start to tear up.
“Why doesn’t he love me any more?” The bear stood up and walked to the arm of the couch. The man picked him up and nestled him in his arms.
“Oh, he still loves you.” The man kicked back in his chair and sat the bear next to him. “It’s just that he’s getting older now. He has other things on his mind. He’s loosing the magic. It happens to us all.”
“Loosing the magic?” The bear turned his head towards the man with a puzzled look. “What do you mean papa father?”
“Well Theodore, it’s like this: All of us are born with the magic.” The man laid his head back in his chair and closed his eyes. The bear climbed into his arms and was hugged tight. “When we are young it is very strong. The magic rules our lives when we are children. It can take us to places we’ve never seen. We can do things that can’t be done.” The man spoke softly as visions of his youth played in his mind. “Why, when I was young I could travel to the stars and beyond.”
“So what happens to the magic?” Theodore yawned slightly as he asked his question.
“Nothing happens to the magic. We just loose touch with it. Our minds begin to forget. Our hearts stop believing. We get old and our thoughts turn to more serious matters. That’s why the boy doesn’t play with you the same. He has other things on his mind. Girls…cars…life. He still loves you, he just doesn’t remember.” A tear ran down the man’s cheek and the bear wiped it off with his worn little paw.
“Does he remember that he loves you papa father?”
“Yes, sure he does.” The man paused for a second then continued. “Well, sometimes he does.” Another tear was wiped away by the little bear who would have shed his own were he able. “It’s all right though, he’ll remember in time.” “How long will it take?”
“Each in his own time Theodore. It may take the boy years. It may take a lifetime.” The man’s chest heaved with a sigh. “I just hope I’m around when he remembers.”
“Papa father…” The bear turned and sat back laying his head on the man’s chest. “Do you have the magic?”
“Yes. I found the magic again when the boy was born.” A smile played across his lips as another tear fell. “It was as if he woke the magic up when he smiled at me. I remember flying through the stars with him, just like when I was a kid. It took awhile for me to realize that I had the magic back. Oh how wonderful it was when I did realize. The boy and I could do just about anything together. His magic was so very strong. I hope he can find it again someday.”
“Doesn’t everyone get it back?”
“No. Most people forget forever. That’s why there are so many stuffed animals that die every year. The people forget, and the magic fades. Some of the animals make it to a new home, but most are just tossed aside.”
“Papa father…will you let me die?” The man picked the bear up and hugged him tight to his chest.
“No…oh no. I will never let you die my friend. You and I will stick together no matter what.” The man could not hold the tears back any longer. They ran down his cheeks and soaked into the bear’s fur.
“Do I have the magic?” The bear’s voice shook slightly as he nuzzled closer to the man’s chest.
“Theodore, you are the magic.”


4 thoughts on “Theodore

  1. Wow! This really tore at my heart for so many different reasons! You have a distinctive way of expressing the sorrow and hearbreak, but yet are able to bring out the HOPE in all of us, to feel that magic once again.

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