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TEDDY — a fiction
When you are left out in the rain
It was only for one night, but by the next morning it was ruined. We hadn’t meant to do it, obviously. We had been sat out near the cooling barbecue and the evening had drifted down like satin and we just forgot — left it out there in the dark and rain, propped up against the glass door, looking in.
It’s not that I’m a clean freak or anything like that; our house is always a tip, even when we have visitors. I don’t know, I just can’t find the time to get everything in line. There’s always a cup or glass sitting on the counter top; a jumper draped over the back of a chair; shoes lying in corridors, ready to trip you up when you are most short of time. You know what it’s like. But, still, after leaving it out in the rain all night, I wasn’t going to bring it back inside.
Maybe I could have washed the thing: checked the label and shoved it in with the coloured load, or even just on its own with a couple of other toys — they probably all needed some hygienic attention, if I’m honest. But, for some reason, I just didn’t think of that. I saw it there — bedraggled, water still dripping from its ear — and got rid of it straight away, before the kids came downstairs and saw its face pressed against the glass. Straight in the bin at the end of the garden.
The thing is, the kids never asked after it. I just assumed they would say something, throw a fit, or shut themselves away in their room. I think I wanted to see that they cared.
But nothing. No word of inquiry. No uneasy silence. Just cereal and TV and back upstairs.
Sometimes I feel cheated by parenthood. All we do for them, and I wonder if (long into the future, when we’re old and grey) they’ll even notice when we’re gone.
Originally published on Tumblr
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