I Kept My Promise
(To be honest, not posting on a Saturday feels very odd. But I have the pleasure of participating in a blog tour this fine Thursday, so I'll share a quick snippet I wrote a while ago before moving onto the blog tour.)
I kept my promise, Talia.
I took Teddy to the park today. I carried him in front of me, and he watched the passerbys with his serious black button eyes.
As we walked together, Teddy and I, the memories walked with us. You always loved the park, Talia. You’d skip and sing and twirl until you tumbled into the grass. Then you’d climb up on my knee and point to the clouds, trying to show me your world of fancies that kept you laughing all day long.
Finally, I couldn’t keep walking. I couldn’t keep remembering. I couldn’t even breathe. I sat down on one of the benches. It was damp from last night’s rain. We sat there, Teddy and I, and I remembered. Teddy sat on my lap. His left ear was bent over slightly from all the countless times you had carried him by it.
Then we saw a little girl. She had dark hair and wore a pink dress like the one you used to wear when you would beg me to come to your tea parties.
She was alone.
She walked up to us, fascinated by Teddy. When she caught sight of me, though, she shrank back.
She looked behind her, searching for her daddy, but he was gone. Then she began to cry.
And so, slowly, I held Teddy out to her. She took him and wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his soft fur. After a moment she looked up, and through the tears that blurred her eyes I saw two sparkling blue irises staring back at me.
Just like yours.
Then her daddy came. He was so relieved to find her. He picked her up and threw her into the air, and she giggled, holding Teddy by one arm. Her daddy nodded to me, and tried to make her give Teddy back.
She didn’t want to. She started to cry again, hugging Teddy with all her might.
Then, slowly, though my throat burned and my heart ached with memories, I whispered, “She can keep him.”
Her daddy smiled at me and nodded, then they turned and left—, Teddy with them. And I sat on the bench, alone.
The memories came then, Talia. The memories came thick and fast.
I remembered you climbing on my knee at my home, asking me to take care of Teddy, since he didn't want to move with you and leave his home. And I promised.
I remembered crying as you left, and you wiping at my wrinkly old cheek with your soft little hand, saying, “Don’t cry, Grandpa. Whenever you feel sad, go out and make someone happy.”
And I nodded, kneeling and hugging you and wishing that I would never have to let you go. Your small arms wrapped around my neck as you promised you’d be back by my birthday.
And then, two days later, when I heard about the car crash, I went up to your playroom where Teddy sat on the shelf. We watched the memory of you twirl through the room, laughing and dancing and building towers and inviting us to tea.
And now, on my birthday, I miss you more than words can say.
Teddy was happy today, and his new little mistress even happier.
I kept my promise, Talia.
If only you could have.
Now onto the fun part. (;
A dear friend of mine, Agnès Cromwell, recently launched her blog: The Rainy Day Writer. Agnès is an amazing girl and a dedicated writer, and I'm so thrilled to be able to participate in her blog tour.
The schedule for the tour is here:
So tomorrow, head back over to her blog to see what else she's cooking up! (;
Be sure to check out her blog and leave a comment! <3 It'd mean the world to both her and I.