I was built to be loved, and to give love in return. That was the sole intention with which my creator made me, so when my new mother brought me home to meet my new sister, my heart leaped with excitement at the thought of finally fulfilling my life's purpose.
"Jenny," said my new mother, "come here."
I watched eagerly as my new sister bounded into the kitchen. This beautiful angel with gold hair and sparkling eyes was Jenny. I loved her the instant I saw her. It delighted me that she and I were almost the same size, though I was a little smaller.
"What is it, Mom?" she asked.
"I picked something up for you in town today," said our mother. She gleefully presented me to young Jenny. "What do you think?"
Jenny's reaction was cooler than I'd hoped it would be. She stared at me for a moment and blinked. "It's a doll," she said.
"Yes," our mother said. "Do you like it?"
Jenny's lips curled into a smile, but the joy never quite reached her eyes. "Yes," she said. "She's beautiful. Thank you, Mommy." She took me in her arms, gave me a hug, and carried me off to the bedroom we would share. Maybe this will be fine after all, I thought to myself.
Jenny placed me in a chair in the corner of our bedroom. I expected that I would sit here whenever she wasn't playing with me. And then, I thought, once bedtime came, we would surely snuggle together beneath the covers of the big bed on the other side of the room. This was not to be, however, as days went by and Jenny never once took me from the chair. The most she would interact with me was to give me a suspicious glance from across the room. Sometimes, this glance was accompanied by a shudder. That confirmed it: my new sister didn't like me. I was devastated.
I decided I had to show her somehow that I was worthy of her affections. I needed her to know the love I was prepared to give her. So, one night, when the lights went out, and I was sure Jenny was asleep, I channeled every bit of focus and energy I had into my limbs of fabric and stuffing. After what felt like hours, to my excitement, they finally began to move. Yes, I had learned to control them. Clumsily, as this was all still new, I got down from the chair and made my way toward Jenny's bed. I had no idea before I started that moving would take so much energy! I managed to get only halfway across the room before I could go no further. It was there that I dropped, forced to wait until morning.
At last, the first rays of sunshine leaked into the room from beneath the window shade. Mother came to the door as she always did.
"Jenny, it's time to---" She stopped suddenly. "Jenny, what is your doll doing on the floor?"
"I don't know," Jenny said groggily. "I didn't put it there."
"Nonsense, Jenny," Mother said. "You need to take better care of your things, young lady."
Before Jenny could protest any further, Mother cut her off. "Not another word, Jenny. Come downstairs and eat your breakfast." She closed the door, leaving us alone once more.
Jenny got out of bed and slowly approached me where I lay. She moved with such trepidation, as if I were going to explode at any moment. At long last she picked me up. It was the first time she had done so since that first day of my adoption, and the sensation was sweet. It was short-lived, however, as a moment later, she placed me firmly back in the chair from which I'd come. She looked me over, not with suspicion this time, but with something like worry. Perhaps it was fear.
"Jenny, hurry up," Mother called from downstairs. Jenny snapped to attention and obeyed, hurrying quickly from the room.
I now understood, of course, that I was simply too weak, or too new to walking, to make the journey all the way across the room. The only thing to be done, I decided, was to practice. Each night, when I was sure Jenny had gone to bed, I would come down from my place and venture across the room. For the first few nights, whenever I felt my energy and strength leaving me, I would turn and try to get back to the chair with whatever I had left. Often, at first, I would simply collapse on the floor in front of or beneath the chair. In the mornings, when Jenny would discover me, I would be met with the same looks of confusion and concern. They never stopped feeling like rejection, but the pain I felt only made me more determined to show Jenny how worthy I was of her love.
Just as I had hoped, moving became easier and easier. Within two months, I could make it all the way to Jenny's bed. The first time she discovered me there on the floor beside her bed in the morning, she screamed, to my utter surprise. She didn't even pick me up, but instead ran from the room. Moments later, she returned with Mother.
"There," Jenny said, pointing at me where I lay.
"Jenny," said Mother, "don't be silly. Your doll just fell out of your bed while you were sleeping."
"But I didn't sleep with it," Jenny said. "I swear."
Mother smiled sweetly. "Jenny, it's okay to sleep with your doll if you want to. You don't need to make things up."
"Now, that's enough," Mother said. "Pick up your doll and come downstairs for breakfast."
"I'm not touching her," Jenny snapped.
"Jennifer," Mother said firmly. "Stop acting up this instant. Pick up your doll right now."
Jenny looked defeated. She hesitated, and then slowly approached me. Mother watched as she slowly picked me up and placed me on the chair. "Thank you," she said. "Now come on, before your pancakes get cold."
I was left alone once again, stinging from the obvious dislike Jenny felt for me. I couldn't give up, though. I had to show her how loving and warm I could be, and I was very nearly there.
The next night, I could barely contain my excitement. I felt good. I felt ready. Deep down, I knew I could do this. As had become my habit, I hopped down from my chair and made my way across the room. Only when I reached Jenny’s bed did I begin to tire. I reached up, grabbed hold of the edge of Jenny's mattress, and hoisted myself up to where she slept.
At last, I was beside her, my sweet sister. This was where I had longed to be. I sat for a long time, just watching Jenny sleep. She looked so peaceful, her little chest rising and falling. The slightest hint of a snore issued forth on every exhale. The love and emotion coursing through me almost made me shake. It's the one and only dream of every creature like me to be loved and cherished by a little girl like Jenny. It's what we were made to do. Without that, we are nothing.
Now was my chance, I decided, to show Jenny how loving and comforting I could be. I inched slowly over to her face, the only part of her that lay exposed in a sea of blankets and pillows. I wrapped myself around her head in the tightest embrace I could manage. It felt wonderful to do so. I wish I could have spoken in that moment, because I would have shouted over and over again, "I love you, Jenny! I love you!"
I felt her begin to stir beneath my grasp. Her movements became more and more erratic. A hand reached up from the blanket and tried to pull me away. The harder she pulled the more steadfastly I held on. I had to show her that this was good. She needed to know that this was how things had to be. But still, she tried to free herself from my embrace. The grasping became clawing. She tried to sit up, but I wouldn't let her. Soon, her actions began to slow. Her efforts became less and less urgent, until finally, all the tension seemed to leave her. This was what I had been dreaming of. She was no longer frightened of me. Acceptance at last.
Mother knocked on the door the next morning as she normally did, but Jenny did not stir. This was highly unusual, and I became worried when time passed, and my sister still hadn't moved. Mother came in, calling Jenny's name. Slowly, she approached the bed where we lay. I watched in confusion as Mother dropped to her knees. She let out a scream like no other I had ever heard. I knew something was wrong with Jenny.
That was the last time I saw my beautiful sister. I miss her every single day, but it's not all bad. I live in Mother's room now. She talks to me fairly often. "You, my little darling," she says. "You were the last gift I ever gave her. She must have loved you dearly, but she was afraid to let me know. Big girls don't sleep with dolls, I suppose." She follows this with a small, half-hearted laugh, and then begins crying once more, as has become her habit. Each night, however, she takes me to bed with her and holds me tight.
I was built to be loved, and to give love in return. That was the sole intention with which my creator made me. I wish I could have had that with Jenny for more than one night before she went away. However, it's clear that Mother needs me now, and I her, and together, we find love and comfort in each other.
Written by Jdeschene