I can still remember the time when she smiled and played, just like any other little girl did. We'd have tea parties and play dress up, and she would randomly burst into song with one of her favourite nursery rhymes. Those were the days of bubbles and giggles and smiles. I had thought they would never end.
And then the big man came.
He ruined everything! He made her cry and wouldn't let her scream. There was always blood, but as time went on, the blood became less, but it doesn't seem like it hurts her less. I can hear his heavy footsteps in the hall and I pray that he doesn't stop at her room. For once, just once, leave her alone, please. I wanted my friend back. I wanted her to be the little girl I knew again. I wanted to protect her.
I tried not to think about it too much, instead letting my mind drift back to more pleasant memories. Days of sitting on the back porch, blowing bubbles into the breeze while soft music played inside the house. Watching her chase butterflies around the yard and going with her to pick wildflowers in the field just beyond. I miss those days. Those days when she laughed and smiled just like any other little girl, the days before the big man came.
Even after the big man came, she still talked to me. She'd tell me how the big man scared her, how he hurt her. Oh how I wished I could have held her to comfort her as she cried against my head. I wanted to tell her it would all be okay. I wanted to hold her, comfort her, protect her. I just wanted to make the big man go away.
The footsteps stopped outside the door and I waited, staring across the nite-lite lit room. I silently pleaded for the footsteps to start up again, to move away from the door, but they remained silent on the other side. I knew she was still awake, staying perfectly still under her covers, praying for the same thing I was. She knew, as well as I did, that he was standing just on the other side of the door, waiting for something. Some sort of signal that it was time to enter to hurt her again.
The door handle began to turn, but then it stopped, and again I waited. Something was different tonight, something was off. Then I heard it. It was the pretty lady's voice and she was talking to the big man. She seemed angry, even if I couldn't see her with the door still closed, her voice was angry. Big man said something back to her, his voice was cold, not angry like hers and if I could have I would have shuddered at the sound of it. This changed pretty lady's tone. It became more shrill, more angry and even scared.
There was the sound of a scuffle outside the door, pretty lady screamed, big man yelled. My little girl covered her ears and slid further under her covers, trying to block it all out. I wished she would reach for me. I wanted to comfort her. I knew she was scared, scared that big man would come in the room again and scared that he would hurt the pretty lady. But if she didn't reach for me, I couldn't help her.
Suddenly all the yelling and screaming abruptly ended with a loud crash. My little girl just as suddenly sat bolt upright in bed, staring at her door for a long moment. I didn't know what had made the crash, but soon footsteps began to return towards the door and I feared that big man was coming back. If he had hurt pretty lady, then there was no one left to help my little girl. However, she was no longer frozen in fear and she quickly was out of bed and running towards me.
She moved me aside and picked something up as the door to the room began to once more open. She turned, holding something shiny out in front of her as the door swung wide and big man stood there. His face looked different tonight, he looked much more like the monster I knew him to be as he stood there with blood on his hands. His eyes widened in surprise as he looked at my little girl and then grinned.
"Now that's a dangerous toy for a little girl," he mocked, taking a step forward. And then there was a deafening sound and a bright flash from the object my little girl was holding out in front of her. I heard her scream and the big man cry out in pain. As my senses adjusted again, I saw the big man fall to his knees, a hand over his chest as the dark red liquid of his blood poured over his already stained hands. And then he fell forward and my little girl fell to her knees, her small body shaking as she sobbed.
After that, the world became a blur of people in both dark and light uniforms coming in and out of the room. Several men tried to talk to my little girl but she ran from all of them. It wasn't until a pretty woman in a nice suit came in that my little girl finally let someone take the shiny, noisy thing from her hands. There were lots of whispers and then the pretty woman helped my little girl pack a small bag of clothes.
She was leaving. She was going to leave and I would have to remain here without her. If she left me here, I couldn't watch over her or comfort her or protect her. I wanted to go with her, call out to her to take me with her, but of course I couldn't. But then, just before they got to where big man had fallen, my little girl turned and her eyes fell on me. She raced back across the room and grabbed me by my arm before returning to the pretty woman's side. If I could have smiled I would have. If I could have cried, I would have shed tears of joy that she didn't leave me behind.
After all, what good is a teddy bear if the one you love isn't holding you tightly when they need you?