Sometimes, when they weren't looking, I'd turn the TV on. It was hard with porcelain fingers, but I managed. The old grandma that owned me loved to watch TV. She sometimes talked to the moving pictures, scolding the nurses and doctors for stupid choices. If I could smile, I would have. Several nights, she'd sit, with pink curlers in her hair, on the chair beside mine. Her floral nightgowns, far too big for her, sometimes drooped down her shoulder, revealing decaying, wrinkled skin. She'd sit for a few hours watching Days of Our Lives or General Hospital. Her latest favorite was Grey's Anatomy. She looked at me once, stating how handsome she thought that one doctor was. Why do you enjoy all that over acting? I wanted to ask her. I knew if I spoke, it would scare her.
This old lady was my latest home. The last few gave me away because I was an actual talking doll. One family thought I had a demon in me. But, that's not so. I'm just a toy - but I have a story to tell if people would just take the time to listen. I am the best sort of companion. Many of my previous homes had children. They would often tell me their deepest secrets; when those secrets were revealed, I vowed never to break the solemn oath of betraying their trust. My oath broke the day I opened my porcelain mouth to speak.
I decided that I liked this old woman who loved soap operas. This was a comfortable home. I had my own chair, and undoubtedly the best spot in the house. When she got me from the old thrift shop, she brought me to her home, welcomed me in even. She gave my hair a good brushing, occasionally pulling out some tangles. She had placed me down on the chair in her small living room and told me that this was my home now, this was my spot. I was a lovely edition to her creme and white living room. My strawberry blonde curls and green silk dress gave a little bit more color, as did my bright blue eyes - the old woman had said. She had adjusted my bonnet and fixed the tear in the hem of my dress, which I was thankful for.
All I could do was thank her silently, if I smiled or moved my eyes - she would notice and toss me out like all the others. I wasn't ready to lose another home. Things were just starting to look hopeful, normal - and this was just starting to feel like home. Every night since I came, it was just the same. She would talk to the TV and ever so often to me. I sat in my spot lifeless, but listening. I wondered about her life - I wanted to know if she had a family, if she had children or grandchildren. Would she invite them to come to admire her latest edition to her living room? What would they think of me? Lots of people are afraid of dolls, I never understood why when we have been made with such delicate hands and with love.
The clock above the television set chimed seven times. The early morning light poured in from the windows, lighting up the room. The old woman would be coming down for breakfast soon, the aroma of coffee and oatmeal would fill the house. I heard the front door unlock and push open. A voice called out from the door. I dared to look at the clock that had chimed a few moments ago. The old woman should have been down by now.
When footsteps came closer, I froze - staring off into the distance. There was a younger woman, taller than the old woman who owned me. She wore some strange business suit and huffed when she saw me, rolling her eyes. Why on earth would my mother have an awful porcelain doll? I could hear her voice far away. Inside, I winced. The old woman was so kind and appreciative - how could she have a daughter who wasn't? I heard my owner come downstairs and greeted her daughter. I heard the conversation about why I was even here. The old woman defended me, despite the rebukes she got.
Some time had gone by when I heard them leave for the day. I woke up, stretching my arms a little, carefully sliding off the chair. I heard the click of porcelain when my feet touched the ground. The house seemed so big from my perspective, but now I could explore. I walked around a little bit, taking it all in. The stone floor was cold when I touched it with the palm of my hand. I hummed a little, smiling a little as I walked from the living room to the kitchen. I couldn't see above the counter, what all was there.
I heard a low purr and chuff from nearby. I went still and fell on the ground, if I could have winced I would have. The old woman had a cat - he was grey and black, but had a white chest and two white socks on his front feet. He looked at me with eyes wide, smelling my hair and flinching when he didn't like a certain smell. He arched his back and bravely inched closer. I felt the whiskers tickle my legs and felt his paw push into my stomach as he examined my face. His nose was wet as it touched my face. It took all my might not to laugh at the ticklish whiskers he had. His dark eyes were ever curious. He investigated me a little longer before darting off somewhere else. I sighed in relief when the cat disappeared again.
Struggling for a minute or so, I was able to get up back onto my feet to walk around the first floor. There was a corridor that I walked down towards a back room. There had been a desk there; a computer, some photos and a chair with wheels. I looked quickly around before moving again towards a different part of the house. I mean - how cool was this? I had, in a manner of speaking, my own house! This was the first time the old woman had brought me home that I was allowed to move about freely. I lacked so much courage. Even when she had gone upstairs, I was so afraid that she might have heard me clatter to the floor. Today, I had risked a little more than usual. I walked back up the corridor and sat on the steps to rest a little bit. I released a sharp gasp when I heard a moving vehicle pull up and the vehicle turned off. As quick as my porcelain legs would allow, I ran to the living room.
When I found my chair, it was a challenge to get up. I hopped up more than once, frantically trying to grab hold of anything but there was nothing. My last attempt, I thought. I cried as I jumped up with all my might. I was almost safe. Just as the front door opened, I slid off the chair, my stubby little arms desperately trying to hold on to something. No! I wailed inside. There I came tumbling down with a crash. Nothing was there to be felt. Something broke. I'm quite certain my porcelain leg snapped, my face must have had some kind of crack and perhaps split open. It took everything in me not to cry. I never should have left my chair. Here I was, broken and cracked. Would the old woman keep me or throw me away? What was that clatter I heard? I heard her voice enter the living room. The look of shock and sadness on her face was evident. Oh no, this is most dreadful! How did you fall off from your chair? With gentle hands, she picked me up, also the broken pieces. She sighed heavily and allowed a tear to slide down her cheek. The old woman found an old shoebox and gently laid me there. She looked at me with a frown on her face. I couldn't bear to throw you away. I'll find time to fix you soon. I nearly whimpered when the lid went on the box. I hoped she wouldn't forget me. The box shifted, I stumbled and my good leg swayed to the rhythm of the old woman's walk. I heard the sound of the box sliding and a door close. If I could have cried, I would have. This was it, wasn't it? I would sit in this box for the rest of time, gathering dust and get eaten by moths and other things.
I ended up losing the count of days before someone finally came to the closet. The door opened and I felt someone lift the box. I froze for what may have been the last time. It was the daughter who once scorned me. She was older, some wrinkles on her face. Her lips narrowed into a thin line. It was the same look she gave me long ago. How long ago was it? Grandma had a porcelain doll? Why would she keep a porcelain doll? A faint voice asked, peering over the shoulder of the new woman. She shrugged and closed the lid. Toss it, it's broken. Mom always talked about fixing it up, but she never did. What? No, this has to be a mistake, surely the old lady was still alive. Unless...that is why she forgot about me inside a box within a closet. The old woman had died, and would never be able to fix me up.
I sighed as I felt the box fall into something. My head banged against it, causing me to roll over onto my side. I had briefly had a home in which I was cared for, but now, it's over. I felt the magic take me away, whatever it was vanished into air and the doll ceased to exist.
It was now just an ordinary doll, lost and forgotten. With no love or life, she was buried away and her time at an end. What happened to the magic, we will never know for certain. All that matters in the end is this, without love there is no life, no hope, but if one is able to find love, well, then…that gives us something to look forward to.