As I walked past Hazel’s bedroom, I heard sobs coming from her room. Alarmed, I slowly opened her bedroom door and peered inwards. Little Hazel was curled up like a foetus on her bed, hugging her new teddy bear from the carnival we went earlier in the day.
“Darling, what’s wrong? Didn’t you had fun at the carnival today? And look, you even won yourself this little fella.”
I sat gently at the edge of her bed. Using my fingers, I wiped away her tears carefully. And removed my touch when she started to hide her face from view.
After a short while, she sat up hesitantly and tried to wipe her tears using the back of her hand.
“It’s nothing mama,” she said with a small smile. But it didn’t reach her eyes.
“Alright then. But can you tell mama why did you choose the teddy? I thought you always wanted the baby tiger.”
Hazel looked down at the teddy and slowly began, “I really really really like the tiger but… I… I… I’m scared to have it.”
She grabbed one of her other stuffed animals from the other side of the bed and placed it between my hands. It was a stuffed lion. Another one of her favourites. I remember winning this for her at another carnival two years ago. And it has been her favourite ever since then, always bringing it along wherever she go.
Usually, she wouldn’t even put it aside despite having new toys. Yet, it was left at the other side of her bed today.
Puzzled, I looked at her, unsure of what to do.
“What do you see?”
“I see a lion…?” I answered her slowly, dragging out the word “lion” for I’m unsure of my own answer.
I inspected the stuffed lion.
The colour does seem a little different. It was brighter and more vibrant then. At the edge of the stuffed lion was a small tear. The tear used to be slightly bigger. But I had mended it a year ago when Hazel came crying to me about the tear. I thought that was it, the tear!
She shook her head and slowly pulled the stuffed lion from my hand.
“I saw Mr Lion’s friend today. At the carnival. And he looks so different from Mr Lion… Then I saw Mr Tiger snd I really really like Mr Tiger. But I didn’t want him to turn up like Mr Lion, I want him to stay the way he is. So he can’t come home with me…..” Another flood of tears gushed down her cheeks as she hugged her stuffed lion, murmuring her soft apologies to it.
Upon watching her, I can’t help but feel my eyes water and hot tears threatened to fall. I say nothing, but embrace her while she sobbed her heart out.
I haven’t been writing here for a while and I really missed writing. I’m also trying out something new at the moment, check it out at https://write.as/cheryl8498/