www.whyville.net Feb 13, 2011 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Goodbye Sarah

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I left you at a playground, once. I cried for a good day or so before, miraculously, Mom found another one that looked just like you. Up until I was about ten, I thought it really was you. The alibi was that, someone had found you at the park and turned you into the local gift store. And I believed it, I was happy to think that. I had you back.

Another time, I lost you in the laundry. For days on end, I didn't know where you were. I couldn't sleep. I cried endlessly, and the only thing that cheered me up was my brother. But I was still sad. Until one day, at a summer's trip to the lake, my mom found you while doing laundry and I had you back in my arms again.

You were there on my first trip to Disney World. You were there when my little kiddy Jeep Wrangler broke down and Dad and my brother had to carry it home. You were there when I decided you didn't look "loved" enough, and I beat you against the pole outside of Walmart, distressing your features forever. You were there when I read at night, when I ate Kix cereal for breakfast (I spilled milk on you several times), and when I threw the yellow plastic chair onto the lawn below from the second story.

Yes, you were always there. I always brought you along. I had you when I was four, and I never stopped bringing you into to Target, slung across my shoulder or clutched between my hip and elbow, until I was about eleven. You were my friend, and my comfort, because at times, I had none other.

And then I started to grow up. You became a "bed animal", as my mom put it. "We never see Sarah anymore," my dad would comment. I guess that surprised them, seeing as when it was your birthday - August 1st, for reference - we made brownie cupcakes, lit candles, and opened presents. That's how obsessed with you I was, that's how much I cared for you, inanimate as you were.

On our first trip to Cozumel, Mexico in 2007, I of course brought you with me. I lost my Old Navy hat on the plane, but I was glad it wasn't you. "Are you sure you want to bring her?" my parents said, "You might lose her." I laughed this off in my mind. Me, lose you? Why, the very thought was absurd! I had taken you to the lake, to Disney land, to Cozumel, and always brought you back home.

In October of 2010, we made another trip to Cozumel. I was thirteen and I still had you. But this time, I didn't let you tag along. I was sad at first. But then, I realized I didn't need my stuffed friend with me. I arrived home and there you were, on my bed, waiting for me. And I showed you some pictures, too, to make it up to you. And I didn't care if anyone thought I was pathetic for it.

Then, that same October, we had to go to California for a wedding. I was excited. I wanted you along this time, and I actually had room in my purse for it. So, in you went, along with the books and iPod in my bag. I mean, it's not like I could lose you, right?

For three days, I had a blast in California; spending time with cousins, go-kart racing, attending the wedding, while you were on a hotel bed, all alone. The time came for us to leave. We had to get up early so we could drive back. At night, I had you in the bed on my pillow, just like I did when I was little. That morning before we left, I did a double-sweep of the room; iPod, check. Makeup, check. Dress and shoes, check. Check, check, check. I had everything, I thought. I had pulled back the bed covers, looked under the tables, everything.

Halfway through the drive home, we stopped for lunch. After eating, I climbed back in the car, tired and wanting to sleep the rest of the way home. Instinctively, I reached for you, and for my pillow. Well, there was my pillow. But, where were you? Frantically, I dug through my purse - more like, oversized tote bag - where I could've sworn you were. I was panicked. Where were you? Eventually, I calmed down, logically reasoning that you must be in my suitcase, or in my sisters' suitcase.

We arrived home and the car was emptied out. I told my mom I didn't have you. We searched the car, through all the luggage. You were nowhere to be found. The next day, we called the hotel, asked for the lost-and-found department. No, they didn't have you, either. I thought I would get you back, just like all the other times I had lost you.

I was wrong.

So, so very wrong.

Many calls to the hotel were made. They never found you. Their explanation was that, the maids had probably run you through the washing machines with the other bedding or something, and then thrown you out. How dare they!, I thought. I was so angry with myself, and at maids. (I vowed to always have a life-long hate of maids) Now you were gone, for real. Oh, how I would miss your black, scruffy fur. Your glass eyes, scratched and chipped due to being rammed into doorknobs when I carried you around. Your flat, bumpy nose, burnt from leaving you in front of the fireplace.

After about two months, I said goodbye. I realized I was never going to find you. I cried, thinking of all the time I had spent with you, and at the thought of you being in a landfill somewhere. I let go of you. It hurt, but I felt older somehow; somehow, losing my inanimate friend and comfort was a growing experience. I might be better off, but who knows? I still miss you, even though I know it's childish and people may mock me for it.

Goodbye, Sarah.


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