The Doll – part 2

It was not that she wasn’t familiar. But THE DOLL had taken all my attention. After all I had seen her before, not that I remember my birth, whatever the new age greenies think. Little too traumatic an event to want to remember if you ask me.

And I had lived with her until she and Dad split up – now how long was that ? Oh yea, about the time it takes to take a deep breath. then Dad had taken me (now that’s a whole story on its own) and I’d lived with Auntie Rita until…

One day, I was about three I think, Mum turned up at the door. Apparently she had already spoken to the local police and what they told her was this. If Dad was not at my aunt’s house and I came outside to her, there was nothing they could do to stop her taking me.

At three I must have still known exactly who she was. I was having a nap when I heard her voice. Running at full speed I dodged around my aunt at the door and flew into her. Mum picked me up and stated her business to my aunt – she was reclaiming me – and waited patiently while Auntie Rita phoned the police.

Now you may not believe this – but I remember every moment of this. Well, not the words – but the sound of her voice, the running, the arms, the trip back in the car with Mum and my brother.

So how was it I didn’t recognise her now – well it wasn’t long before I was back with Auntie Rita, and she (Mum) was a very distant memory to me at eight.

So there she sat – with the THE DOLL – smiling at me. I was quite an articulate eight-year-old, but not at that moment. And Auntie Ed’s fingers were hurting as they dug deeper with every passing SILENT minute. The adults were not saying a lot, but I guessed my aunties were none to thrilled with Mum’s presence.

Mum looked, well, uncomfortable doesn’t describe it. And she kept smiling. Now you think silences are awkward for adults – let me tell you they are worse when you’re eight and you’re not sure what to do or say. Adults are supposed to give you direction. I guessed I was on my own on this one.

Besides it was starting to become apparent to me that I had a good chance of claiming THE DOLL if things went well.

Long lost mother + large doll + eight-year-old girl = present.

Right ?

“Mum?’ I wanted to check to be sure.

“That’s me,” she said. And I felt the tug of a memory in the tone of those words.

“I’m Joanne,” I said, tugging, to free my shoulder from Auntie Ed’s grip. It wasn’t easy, but I did it and walked forward with my hand held out to shake hers.

I know – she knew who I was, but hey I was brought up with manners being a big priority.

She took my hand, her grip was almost as tight as Auntie Ed’s. After a minute she seemed to realise that fact and let go.

“You’ve grown, ” she said.

Nothing passed Mum’s eagle eye…she took them from me to look at both my aunts. To my surprise Auntie Ed mumbled (I had never heard Auntie Ed mumble in my life) about making some tea, then they both went out to the kitchen.

“I brought you something,” she said. And then she pushed THE DOLL toward me.

Now most other eight-year-old girls would have grabbed her with glee. And oh how I wanted to. I was the very girl I had envied a little while earlier as I walked away from the door, but my hands remained at my sides.

“Why?”

“I missed your birthday,” Mum pushed her further toward me.

“You missed a few.”

“Yes.”

“And Christmases.”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why the doll? Why now?” I was eight, not stupid.

“Because I missed all the others – I thought…well, I thought I’d need something big to make up for them. And because…”

“What?”

“Because I want you to come home and spend the rest of the holidays with your brothers and me.”

It was time to take THE DOLL…

Part 1

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

31 thoughts on “The Doll – part 2”

  1. Hey Jo. Such authentic writing! Took me back to the tugs of war I’ve experienced…no, putting a smile here is NOT appropriate.
    Okay, I do have some teeny little comments for tweaky your text:
    “Nothing passed Mum’s eagle eye…she took them from me to look at both my aunts. To my surprise Auntie Ed mumbled (I had never heard Auntie Ed mumble in my life)”

    Looks like mum’s eagle “eyes” is called for as you then go on to talk of “them”
    RE: Aunt Ed’s mumbles: As you’ve just written that you heard her mumble, I was wondering if the phrase was missing a “before” somewhere:: “I had never heard Auntie Ed mumble before in my life” or “I had never heard Auntie Ed mumble before.” or “I had never ever heard Auntie Ed mumble before.”

    And then I had a question on tense:

    “I miss[ED] your birthday,” Mum pushed her further toward me.

    “You missed a few.”

    Now, I’m off to try and find part 1.

    Nice bit off writing Jo 😉

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    1. Got me on the tenses – corrected. As for inserting ‘before’ – I thought that the rest of the sentence made that word unnecessary…I’ll mull it over for a while and get back to you…hehehe

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  2. Lovely story 🙂 I remember getting my first Barbie on my 8th birthday, it was there when I woke up. Wow!
    I wanted to let you know I love to vote for that picture of yours for Justin Timberlake, so I am going to find out how it works. It really is a good picture! I couldn’t find a way to comment on that posting.

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  3. Oh Jo…its the beginning of a novel. I want to read the rest soOo much. Your aunts, your father, your mother, your home, the nature around you that shaped your inner world…the doll. There is something really important here, my friend. If it hums in you ohhhh, how I want to read the entire story. Really.

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  4. I think that writing about a realism makes it all the more interesting, and I agree with Brynne this is the makings of a novel and you should consider writing this as a manuscript, of course that will take quite some time but as you have all the research within your own experiences then that is half the battle my great friend and I hope that you decide to write it 🙂 I will be calling back and catching up with your previous postings as soon as I get the opportunity…

    Have a wonderful weekend Jo 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

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    1. I have thought about it and many friends have encouraged me to do so – I think that what holds me back is getting it right. You know the old adage about witnesses to an accident – everyone of them will tell you a slightly different story. I know that some of my memories have already been questioned by family, so it has always made me wonder if I see the memory as it happened or as I wanted it to happen…

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      1. The main thing to remember here is that you will be writing it from the time in which you remember these events and although others may have a different viewpoint on what they remember, it is your own perception of how your life was back then and that is what you should focus upon.

        After all it is your own story Jo and you will be writing it as you remembered it, and in doing so it will be a true picture of how you remember everything as a little girl, and it would be such a shame not to write this manuscript just because of what others might think about it my great friend. Whenever you think of doing something, then always do it and take pleasure in all those moments 🙂

        Have a lovely evening Jo 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

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          1. Talking of encouraging…
            Your Russel Crowe is
            waiting for you 🙂 lol

            Have a funtastic
            Wednesday Jo 🙂

            Androgoth XXx

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  5. How does such strength and power, come from such a past. To rise from the ashes of this youth, as wise, kind and filled with bright light as you are today, is simply amazing. You are Jo, not because of what your life held, but because of what you did with what life gave you. Many are given water and dirt, and make mud. Others, take these simple parts, and build cities. You have created a beautiful thing with what life has given you, and made it worthy and a thing of joy. Not surprising, the major part of joy is Jo. 🙂

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    1. Awwwwww – thank you for that lovely comment. It made my afternoon. Which I am going to need as I speed off to wrangle 17 children taking part in the local drama production. How I manage to gets these jobs – needs examining. I don’t mind really – they are all good kids – it’s the adults in the production who are the cause of all the trouble.
      As for me – well you know – I didn’t have it too bad. There was love from many people and that was what I built on. Sometimes the love was a little unusual in its delivery (Mum for example), but she loved me the only way she knew – and that’s enough to know. 🙂

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  6. It takes courage to share .. so glad you did.. and its such a touching story Jo.. You have written it well.. Its amazing how we remember.. I know I remember many things from before I was 5yrs old.. Now the things I did yesterday LOL.. I forgot already!…
    Loved this post and your story Jo.. thank you for sharing.. xox.

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