June 4, 2015
Sammy and I lie in bed together, he up against the corner wall and I on my back. I glance over at him; his perpetual grin meets mine. His eyes are black and gemmed, though they’ve become increasingly cloudy with time. I admire his face, auburn and white, speckled with glitter. His nose is worn out, cracked at the edges. I trace my fingers around his snout.
I remember the moment we met each other almost seventeen years ago. We happened to be in the same department store at the same time. He was beautiful, the biggest and cheeriest bear of all those in stock. He spoke to me with those black gems, begging me to take him in. I brought him home that day—he was mine, signed and sealed with the blood red ink within my heart. I was seven years old then.
I’d look forward to seeing him each day after school. I bathed him whenever he got filthy, bubble bath and all. I made sure he had snack time, and occasionally, we’d go camping. On one of our adventures, we were shipwrecked on an island, our possessions hijacked by local pirates. Sammy and I traveled the world until there was nowhere left to go. And at night, I’d tell him bedtime stories and tuck him in with a goodnight kiss.
Whenever I could, I brought home other stuffed animals to keep him company. I never wanted him to be lonely while mommy was away.
He slept with me every night, whether I was in need of his comfort or not. He was there when I entered middle school, became a teenager, got pierced and tatted, cried at night over who knows what in my college dorm… He was there when I finally became a woman.
Sammy watched me grow and helped to shape who I am today: someone who feeds on imagination.
I gaze at him, noticing that he is nowhere near as large as I thought. His shine has gone dull, his posture limp. No longer do we sleep together at night, nor do I acknowledge his presence in the untouched corner of my bedroom. A film of dust covers his fur; I can’t remember the last time he showered. He still wears that same smile though, and just having him in my possession is enough.
I pick him up and place him beside me, his pose mirroring mine. I take a few photos—we both smile, lips shut tight and eyes reminiscent.
I figured that by now, I’d forget about the lifeless thing—the older I get, the more hollow he seems—but he still holds a place in my heart. And I hope that when I finally let him go, and pass him on to my children, that they’ll bring Sammy to life again.
No one will ever understand the volumes that each of these photos speak, and will continue to speak, for as long as I live. The adventures and memories we share, imagined or not, will stick with me. Who would’ve thought one could have so much love for an [in]animate object?
Here lies Shana and Sammy, together forever.
© Scappiamo, 2015