TOYS ARE ALIVE AND PASSED ON TO THOSE INOCENT ENOUGH TO BELIEVE ADULTS BELIEVE AGAIN
| When we are young, we develop a love for toys. Some of us become “attached to specific” toys. This was no exception for little Audrey, as she had many toys. She played with her dolls when she visited other little girls sure, but when she was alone at night, something magical entered her world.
Her parents would tuck her in, read her to sleep leaving her with a nurturing kiss on her forehead before they turned out the light and left their daughter to dream land. Only she had not really been sleeping. She waited long enough for her parents to fall asleep in the next room, pulled the covers from her, crawled out of bed and walked as softly on the floor as she could. She pulled open her closet door and took out her collection of toy soldiers carefully saying hello to them, and she adressed each by name. Johnny, Billy, Shawn. Bobby, Mike, Scott, and after having to look further for him each time, there was also Alan who loved to stray away when no one was looking.
Each night she would fill them in like little journals on her events and news for the day. She would than ask each of their own days, and than she would play a game, usually hide and seek. The soldiers ran under the bed, hid under the dresser, and sometimes jumped into the toy box. Audrey would look for them in all the wrong spots on purpose knowing where they were. She enjoyed playing with them so much, she didn't want to stop.
Some nights, if she were sad she would cry and tell them about her tears, and they would give her advice, Billy being the best for this purpose, he would tell her that she too, was a brave soldier and could defeat any sorrows that may try bringing her down. She would always feel so much better after talking with him.
Little Audrey grew into a pre teen age girl fast enogh, but as she would grow out of her old toys and into new things such as record players and books about boys, she still looked forward to her toy soldiers nightly. She would never let her friends sleep over because Scott had told her once that if someone was to find out about them, they would take them away from her. Audrey believed in his warning and would never let anyone know of her soldiers.
One day, soon after Audrey’s sixteenth birthday, her mom passed away from an illness caused by cancer. She was so sad she spent all day with her soldiers. Her father had decided that his life without her mother was too lonely so he wanted to move away. Audrey did not mind moving but when she announced to Johnny and Billy they would be moving, she was given bad hurtful news. They informed her that they could not go. They told her that if she had removed them from the environment they were in, they could not play, talk, walk, or sing anymore.
After begging the toy soldiers to allow her to tell her father about them, she finally convinced her little wooden friends that he would stay if he knew. They awaited his approval with joyous glee and excitement as the all marched across her floor and lined up. Audrey went to ask her farther to join her in her room.
"Dad, I have something I would like to speak with you about, and need you to come to my room." She said nervously.
Her father was reading the newspaper and place it on the table. "Are you alright sweethear? Is something wrong?"
She thought for a second in fear of what his reaction was going to be. "Yes. I think I am alright, but I need to really show you something." She turned to return to her room and hoped that he would follow.
He came in with a very confused look, she had never invited her farther in to her room before. She explained them to him first and than one by one introduced each one. Johnny said hello, Billy reached up to shake a hand but was left without a returned greeting, and the rest all marched before her farther saluting his introduction.
Audrey’s dismay from her farther’s reaction hurt and confused her deeply. He hugged her as he announced his opinion. “I know your mother’s death has been complicated sweetheart. We will be better when we move, and if you need to talk I am always here. You do not have to pretend your toy soldiers are alive. Now come one, get things cleaned up and I will bring boxes home tonight after work so we can began packing.”
"But dad, they are real and if we move, I will never see them again. I can't take them with me dad!" She let a tear roll down her face and wiped it from her chin.
He kissed his daughter on the head and exited the room. Audrey was so confused that she begin to pick up the soldiers and place them in her shoe box. “No Audrey! Please do not put us away! He is an adult and he may not hear us, but we are real!”
She screamed at them and told them not to talk anymore as she finished putting them all into the box. She placed them up in the closet and told herself that it was time to grow up. She thought that maybe her farther was right.
Fifteen years went by, her father had decided that moving was a bad idea so he kept the house and they stayed. Adventually he also passed away and Audrey married and had a child of her own. Audrey’s little girl now occupied the bedroom, and had announced a name at the dinner table one night. She was only two years old but Audrey was pretty sure that the name she announced was Billy.