Stuffed With Love

Stuffed With Love

A Story by BodilessSoul

I found a teddy bear today while cleaning out my hell hole of a room and it unearthed some very burried feelings and memories.


     I sighed happily as I plopped down on the couch with my pile of marshmellow-like pillows beneath me, getting nice and snug for my Law and Order episode (it was a new one!) when I realized I had other things to do.  I shrugged it off, sending sluggish, sloth-teen waves across the room.  My mother quickly picked up the signals of laziness radiating off of my comfortable self just as Law and Order started to get into the nitty gritty of the homocide, in other words: the climax.


    "Honey, you need to go get some bags and gather up all the stuff you want to donate," my mother annoyingly reminded me as the detectives were conversing about who was the killer.  "Meaning your old clothes," she tagged on.  I groaned inwardly as I struggled to get out of my snug hole, dogs flying in all directions as their portable mattress (me) got up.  Why did she always have to pick now, when the dogs and I were all settled, to make me be responsible?  I grudgingly maneuvered my feet around the floor until they made contact with my sandals and slid them on.  Slowly, to aggitate my mother further, I got off the couch and shuffled my way out of the living room and up the stairs, making sure to be as loud as possible with my "Clack!  Clack!"-ing shoes.  I wasn't going to do this with grace, no way.


    As I walked into my room I held in a cry of pain.  My room was a wasteland, a garbage disposal, a-anything-but-a-bedroom room.  I never liked having to actually look through the wreckage to find stuff to get rid of.  THOSE kinds of thoughts, of cleaning and the such, never crossed my mind.  It was a horrible habit of keeping everything like a pack rat that resulted in my junkyard of a bedroom.  I took a deep breath and dove into my job, making sure to switch on my radio.  Whenever I had to clean, I had to be listening to my jams.


    With a satisfied grunt, I had managed to fill two garbage bags with clothes that no longer fit me or my needs after a recordbreaking hour.  Well, recordbreaking for me.  I lugged them out of the room, cracking my back like an old lady in the process, and began my hunt for un-needed stuffed toys.  Now, I loved my stuffed toys and I'd always never "un-want" them so I always had to ask myself, "do I NEED them?"  to which I'd sadly reply, "YES!"  What could I say?  I was a hopeless wreck.  I shuffled through my piles of stuffed toys, mostly just putting them back after persuading myself that yeah, I did need this or that even though I truly didn't.  No wonder my room was overflowing with crap.  Just as I was thinking this exact thing, I stumbled upon something I astonishingly found myself wanting to throw away.


    "Now this I don't need or want," I grumbled to myself as I held a stuffed animal at arm's length.  It was an otherwise adorable little hazelnut colored teddy bear with innocent bead eyes that reminded me of my dog.  The nose was sown on and fur fuzzy and soft as I touched it.  Dust, collected from years of neglect and sitting on the bottom shelf, fell off from wherever I made contact with the bear.  I stroked the fake leather pilot jacket, complete with fur collar, that the teddy bear wore and looked over his pants.  I pulled off a long string of dust that clung to them and sighed.  I was hoping not to stumble upon this little creature...


"Mom, mom! Can I open it now?"  I asked excitedly as I held a brown shipping box in my arms.  I had found it outside my house door, where I always found it around Christmas time.  My mom glanced over from the couch and shrugged.


"Fine.  But that's the only present you can open early, you understand?"  She reminded from the living room.  I nodded, not really paying attention as I sat down on the floor of the front entrance with the box in front of me.  I stared at it for a moment like it was a Jack-in-the-Box, expecting something to pop out and scare me half to death before I got up the courage to rip off the masking tape.  I threw the tape to the side and yanked open the box, anxious to see what I'd recieved this year.  I tossed the tissue paper aside and instantly saw a teddy bear, in a pilot's jacket and hat.  It even had goggles on.  I beamed, grabbing up the teddy instantly and hugging it to myself, breathing in the scent.  It was so soft and cuddly.  I tore my eyes away from the bear to look back into the box and found a bracelet, an envelope that held my Christmas and Birthday card, and a paper.  I grabbed the paper and glanced at it.  It was a certificate for the bear, written by Dad.


"Stuffed with love," were the words that stood out to me.  Dad had written that.  My eyes filled with tears as I hugged the teddy and the paper to my chest.


"Mom, see what Dad got me!  A teddy bear dressed up like him!  He stuffed it himself!"  I happily exclaimed as I showed off my new bear, its eyes beady and warm.


    I rubbed my eyes, trying to keep the tears at bay as I stared down at that teddy bear, covered in dust now after I'd abandoned it like he'd abandoned me.  I had shoved it in the bottom shelf, like he'd shoved me in the back of his narrow mind...


It was Thanksgiving Weekend and I was elated beyond words because I was at my dad's house in California.  I was walking with my grandma down his street after she'd asked me to take a stroll with her.  I was humming, happy as pie because, so far, my half-brothers and sister were okay and my step-mom was pretty nice.  I didn't really appreciate sleeping in Hannah's (my half-sister's) room much though, since it reminded me of what I didn't have at home but!  I always tried to look on the bright side.  I was with my dad!   On Thanksgiving!  Being a teenager was finally starting to pay off.


"Lee, I wanted to tell you the truth before you got too happy.  You can't be too cozy with these people," my grandma had said ever so urgently.  I glanced over at her, puzzled.


"What do you mean, Abuela?" I said, using the spanish word for grandma.  She frowned.


"Do you know how your dad left your mom?"  She asked, taking my arm and putting it through hers.  I shook my head.


"Mom never likes to talk about it.  How did it happen?"  I asked, curiousity killing the cat.


"Well..." My grandma started.  "Your father had gone off to a military base, having promised to support your mother and you when you were only a baby.  He promised to help pay for an apartment for you two so that you wouldn't be staying at our house.  Your mother trusted him and rented out an apartment and all was well for a while..."


I already didn't want to listen.  It didn't sound like something I wanted to listen to.


"Your mother gets a call from a lady, that lady your father's married to, who tells her to go to hell and take you with her because your father is hers now and not your mother's.  Your mom, she comes running to me, crying about how she doesn't know what she's going to do, that she can't afford the apartment by herself..." My grandma rambled on.


I don't want to hear any more.  My face, I could feel it turning green.  I felt ill just hearing my grandmother's voice.  How could she tell me this now?  When I was sleeping under their roof?


    I felt sick even now, remembering that moment.  I could almost smell the dirt and grass that surrounded my grandma and I as we walked through his synthetic neighborhood.  I didn't know what to think, not even now.  All I could see were those barbie doll houses and their plastered barbie doll smiles, welcoming while I faced them but haunting when I didn't.  I didn't know who my dad was.  I didn't know whether to love or hate this teddy bear.


    Was it really stuffed with love?  Or was it stuffed with lies?


    I squeezed the bear between my hands, as if feeling for the heart it should contain.  Where's the love he put in?  All I could feel was cotton, soft manufactored cotton.  I grit my teeth as I held it firm between my hands, at war with myself over whether to keep the damn'd thing or not.  I wanted so bad to just toss it out the window or let my dogs have a go at tearing it to shreds like my dad had torn my hopes.  And yet, I wanted to cling onto the lie, the thought that he'd once committed even a smidget of his time to stuffing this animal for me.  I wanted to hold onto the image of him thinking up the witty outfit that resembled his career, and contemplating whether I'd want a teddy bear or a bunny, or any other animal they had.  I wanted to hope that maybe, possibly, he did love me.  I wanted to grasp onto that teddy bear, and I did.


    I held it to my chest and dug around for its missing hat.  I tugged it through his ears and made it even, smoothing out the bumps and brushing off the dust from his fur coat.  Smiling, almost painfully, I put it back on the bottom shelf and moved on to the other stuffed animals.  I wasn't ready to give it the spot of honor on the top shelf just yet, but I wasn't about to give it up.  It was stuffed just for me; Accidentally filled with all my dad's love, with his heart, and shipped over to me to keep snug against my heart.



To my dad, whom I still love.  I'm never too old for your teddy, Daddy.

© 2009 BodilessSoul

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Added on August 4, 2009
Last Updated on August 4, 2009



LarlarLand, FL

Hello All! I am an aspired writer but I don't think I'm that great. I have many ideas but I have a lot to learn about techniques and all that jazz! I love literature and also acting. I love theatr.. more..