The strict row of stuffed animals lined across my bed, quietly in their proper places. My friends paraded with frilly, dressed dolls, but I preferred a softer company. One where a Christmas snowman could snuggle up next to a Build-A-Bear koala; my bedroom kingdom prided in colorful diversity.
I was so much younger, free even from mental constraints of measuring equal or above. Winter chills were pressing against cars and houses. All of the trees around had lost their vibrancy; planted still and quiet among the evening sky. My mom took me to the birthday party and stayed the entire time. All of the other young girls had their dolls paraded in glamorous attire for the cold night celebration. But what did I do? I brought my stuffed snowman, cradled comfortably in both my small, ivory palms. He was the last one on the shelf at the local mall—I had to have him for my kingdom, my little world. It was only fitting that I showed him off. I didn’t have the kinds of dolls that they had.
No one had minded, I was well-dressed myself. A deep velvet burgundy dress; I felt like a proper lady for the occasion. Everything else became hazed in childhood bliss during the rest of the night, but I knew I had smiled and laughed alongside everyone else. I had kept my little white knight for awhile.. until he became tattered and lost his festive red scarf.
He was given away eventually, like many others before him—straight to the Salvation Army. It was always the place of choice to take stuffed toys, clothes, or accessories. At least for us.
My kingdom continued to grow even after his departure. They slowly became tucked off to the sides of my room, no longer fit enough to lounge lazily on the bed. Still, how could I exile all of them? My society would’ve fallen apart.
⌊ © Serena Delgado (May, 2018) ⌉