It was my birthday. Oh, how excited it was! I was five years old, the center of attention, gives being lavished upon me. I got everything I wanted (save a unicorn, of course), dolls, toys, clothes, paints, everything that could thrill a five year old girl.
“Oh, sweetie! You forgot one!” My mother pushed a brown package to me. I swelled with excitement, my little hands tearing into the paper. I didn’t even notice that it wasn’t brightly wrapped like everything else. I didn’t notice my mother asking my father quietly who it was from, or the shrug he gave her in return.
A gasp escaped my lips as I pulled out a box. Inside was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen. She looked just like me! Long blonde curls, creamy complexion with freckles on my cheeks, bright green eyes and she wore an adorable little dress (the one I was wearing!) with mary jane shoes. She was larger than my other dolls, and more delicate. She was made out of porcelain, and my mother told me I had to be gentle with her. Of course I would be gentle, how rude!
I named her Amelia and she was my best friend. I would carry her around with me wherever I went. I would pull her around in my little red wagon, I would sit with her under the big oak tree in our backyard, enjoy each other’s company and tell her secrets. Oh, how I wished my little Amelia would speak back.
Oh how I wish I never made that wish.
My mother had just tucked us into bed, and I had Amelia in my death hold. My mother disliked the thought of me sleeping with her, in case something happened and she broke, I would be sleeping with shattered glass. But I convinced her to let Amelia stay, as long as I promised to go right to sleep.
“Of course, mommy!” I said with a little giggle. As soon as she closed the door, I started whispering to Amelia. “Mommy is so silly. I don’t want to go to sleep, yet! I want to talk with you!”
Of course, I had spoken to Amelia plenty of times before this, but she had never spoken back. But, to my utter delight, tonight was different. I couldn’t see her lips moving, but I knew the voice was coming from her. It was just as I imagined it to be!
“I want to talk with you, too!” Her voice was soft and smooth, comforting. It made me feel relaxed just hearing it. I hugged her closer.
“You can talk?”
“Of course I can! You just never listened before, silly girl.”
I was ecstatic. I sat up in the bed, I had to tell mommy and daddy that my doll was talking! They would be so excited to hear!
“No, no, sweetie” She stopped me before I could call. “This is a secret between me and you. Mommy would be jealous, and she would take me away. You wouldn’t want that, would you?” Amelia’s voice sounded as if she were pleading. I felt a small wave of panic at the aspect of my mother taking my doll away.
I lowered myself back into the bed, pulling Amelia close. “No… no I don’t want that. I want to be with you forever.”
If she could have smiled, I’m sure she would have. “You will be, child. You will be.”
For the next several weeks Amelia and I became even closer than before. I would talk with her, and she would talk back. She was my best friend. I loved her so much, it was like we were joined at the hip. Everywhere I went, I had to bring her. My mother was getting a bit tired of this, but she let me have my fun.
But, despite being extra caring, I was still only five years old. It was only a matter of time before I dropped Amelia. I was heartbroken, there was a crack going right through her pretty face. I was inconsolable, my mother assured me that it was nothing serious.
But she couldn’t hear Amelia.
Amelia was furious with me for dropping her. She yelled and shouted, and ignored my sniffling apologies. She refused to talk to me for several days, in which I became increasingly depressed and moody.
Finally, though, Amelia had forgiven me.
So I had thought.
“You know,” Amelia said one night. I turned towards her, eager to hear what she had to say. “I am disappointed that you dropped me. Now my face is ruined. I want a new body.”
I giggled a bit. “How do you get one of those?”
“It’s really very simple, my dearest child.” Her voice turned cold, and she looked at me with those green eyes. “I just take yours.”
I gave another nervous laugh, and shook my head a bit. “Where will I be then?”
“Does it matter?”
I felt tiny, cool porcelain hands stroke my face. I closed my eyes tightly, feeling a crushing panic in my chest. I wanted to scream for my mother, but my voice wouldn’t come out for more than a squeak.
I wish that I had.
It was the strangest sensation. It was like when you stay under water for too long, and your chest starts to hurt, and you feel a wave of panic because you don’t know if you’ll get to the surface in time before you pass out. But as soon as you break the surface, and the air rushes into your lungs, you feel immediate relief and a thrill. Except this… after you break the surface, you realize that the air is still too thick to breath. You struggle trying to get oxygen into your lungs but to no avail, and right at the brink of passing out, you think one last vivid thought.
Where will -I- go?
Of course, I found out eventually. I am sitting here in a lovely glass case sitting on the mantle, watching a happy family and a beautiful little girl who had gotten too old to carry around that old cracked doll of hers. I am watching her, be me. I am watching my life pass before my very eyes.
Every now and then she looks at me and gives me a small, knowing smile.