The Valentine Heart

I woke up that morning and tried to stretch my fuzzy arms but found them sewed together around a red cloth heart. I looked down at the heart and frowned, "Happy Valentine's Day!" it exclaimed joyfully. I sniffed my button nose at the hearts cheery demeanor and smooshed my paws together to scrunch the heart up. It made a squeaking noise startling me and I stop scrunching it to grumble to myself about my dreary existence. Lights flashed in the store and I squinted my black glass eyes against the glare of the fluorescent bulbs and shifted over on my side trying to hide in the pile of other stuffed Valentine's. In the darkness of other's bodies I fell asleep knowing that no one was going to want me, waiting to go back to the storage bins.

Something grabbed my legs startling me in consciousness, large brown eyes hovered over my face, flushed cheeks, and white teeth flashed in a dazzling smile. I was instantly in love, I wanted her to take me home and love me. My dreary existence had just gotten so much better. "Daddy can I have it?" her young voice was music to my ears and I knew that if this 'Daddy' didn't let her take me home, I'd have a problem with him.

A big nosed man came over behind that girl and scrutinized me, weighing whether or not if I deserved to be owned by his daughter, "I guess so." His tired sigh was followed by a hand rubbing down his face. The girl squealed and whipped around to hug him still clutching me in one hand. The big man smiled and I decided he wasn't so bad, just a tired father. At the cash register I was stuffed unceremoniously into a plastic bag with the word "Wal-Mart" emblazed upon its side. The air outside was chilly, but I was protected by my layer of soft fur which kept the chill from permeating into my soft stuffing.

After being tossed into the trunk of a loud machine and bounced up and down on the way to my new home, the little girl took me out of the bag and hugged me close to her body. I almost cried at the feeling of love that seemed to pour out of her as she looked at me. We spent the day going on lots of adventures, saving princesses, slaying evil wizards, and eating lots of chocolate. She named me Mr. Huggles and told me that her name was Sarah. After a few hours she took me to her room and placed me in the spot of honor at the head of her bed. That night she told me something really sad, she said "Mr. Huggles, my mommy died and I really miss her." Her young innocent voice tugged on my heart making me want to cry, but I knew I had to be strong for her. Her hand reached out and she cuddled with me in her warm blankets and I decided that this was much better than being at the head of the bed.

That was 12 years ago, Sarah is getting ready to go to college today. Over the years I've lost an ear and I've had my glossy soft fur sewed up hap-hazard to stop my stuffing from pouring out. My heart was been ripped off so that my arms hang at my side. But also in those years Sarah's heart has been broken, her face has buried itself in my stomach to stop the precious tears from flowing. We've gone on lots of adventures, rode on planes, into new schools, met new people. Through all of these years, when all of the people who loved her had to leave, all the boyfriends that hugged her close left with harsh words, I've been there for her. But Sarah is, going to college today, I'm on the bare bed waiting to go into the trash heap like all the other toys. I hear footsteps climb up the stairs and instantly recognize them as Sarah's. She opens her door, and smiles brightly at me, a smile that still fills me with immeasurable joy, "You ready ." she says softly.

She walks over to me and picks up my battered body. She hugs me tightly to her chest and I almost cry, trying to memorize this hug to take it with me to the dump. She walks down the stairs and past the kitchen. Her father, not so big anymore, smiles sadly at her, "What are you going to do with him?" he asks tiredly.

She looks down at me and smiles softly, "I'm taking him with me of course." My heart stutters at her words, "I couldn't let my Best Friend be left behind while I go out and have new adventures." Her face gets close to mine and she rubs her nose against mine, and I know in that moment that I'll never be this happy ever again.