By Ellie H. and Sally M.
The huge hospital light blinds you as you’re finally born into the world. You hear crying from these strange people holding you, but what you don’t know is that they are happy. Happy that you’re finally in their lives, happy that you have finally arrived.
You realize during your first couple of nights, that it can be lonely when you sleep on your own. So, you cry as loud as you can and you suddenly see familiar faces filled with worry come check on you. Then you let out a giggle, maybe even a cute smile because now you’re not alone. They will now never leave you.
But, the next night you wake up and find nobody around. The stars are twinkling, the wind is whistling, and that scary tree outside your window frightens you. You cry again. Thankfully, the familiar faces come back. They look tired. Bags droop from their eyes, they walk instead of running to your crib, they groan and yawn as if checking on you was an unwanted task.
“It’s your turn,” she says.
“Ugh, I had a long day at work today,” he groans.
You hear a sigh and somebody eventually comes. But you realize they can’t keep doing this, they don’t want to do this, and you cry even louder.
That’s when they finally decide to give you a friend. A fuzzy friend. A stuffed animal whale you would call ,”Wally.”
Wally sings you to sleep at night, goes on adventures with you, eats with you, and watches Sesame Street with you. It’s always you and Wally, never just you. You’re older now and have grown to being independent. You choose your own clothes and sometimes model them for Wally. You learn how to play and talk to people to school, maybe even bring Wally to show and tell. Wally fills your life with happiness and teaches you to be independent.
When you get a scrape, Wally is there for you to cuddle. When Wally is in the washer, you miss him a little. When Wally is missing, you frantically go find him.
But as years pass, you don’t want Wally anymore.
Wally is hidden under pillows when friends come. When he is mentioned, you grimace and shoot your parents a look. When people tease you about Wally, your face turns red. Wally is an embarrassment and you decide he needs to be forgotten about.
You grab Wally one last time. Give Wally a hug and thank him, but eventually throw him into your closet, knowing that Wally will never see the light of day again.
I had an incredibly dull life once. I sat on a shelf for hours and hours, watching my friends leave me one by one. One day, these two people came up to me and looked me up and down.
“Do you think she’ll like it?” she asked. The man next to her nodded with a smile and they grabbed me off the shelf.
I was paid for and put into a bag and they took me to their home. I didn’t know who “she” was, but I was hoping she really would like me.
It turns out “she” was a baby. I’ve seen them in my old home a lot. I never really knew what they did, but they always cried. They must get upset easily.
The woman put me into her crib. The baby stared at me for a while before declaring my name.
“Wally,” she said. She reached for me and squeezed me tight. I didn’t know that, over the years, she would become my best friend.
Time passed and we grew distant. She would be gone for seven hours everyday at who knows where and she couldn’t play until hours after she came back. Sometimes she would let me watch her work, but it was all just numbers. It seemed pretty useless.
But even when she had work to do, she would find time to play with me later. When she got a cut, she would hold me tight. When she didn’t know where I was, she would find me and hold me tight. When she slept, she held me tight.
But eventually, she didn’t want me anymore. The baby grew up. And she didn’t want me anymore. She had friends over and she would cover me up with pillows. I thought we were playing hide-and-seek, but no one was looking for me.
One day, in the middle of working, she set down her pencil, stood up, and walked over to me. I thought she wanted to play, but she just held me with a slight sad look in her eyes.
“Thank you,” she whispered. “Goodbye.”
I didn’t understand why she was saying goodbye until she put me inside her closet. I’d been in here before, but it was never this dark. I was in there for days before realizing that I had been abandoned. And eventually, I was forgotten.