“It dawned on me that she wasn’t there and it was just like this, it was like losing a child, but I was kid.”
This is Mar, describing the loss of a doll.
My story’s about a doll named Lianney Sandy. I had this doll since I was a tiny tiny baby. It’s a cabbage patch doll with blonde curly hair, and it kind of looked like me because I have a pudgy little cabbage patch face. She was really soft and squishy with a big plastic cabbage patch doll head, short blonde hair. Like I remember I had kept her certificate that said like, “Xavier Robins” oh and “her name is Lianney Sandy”. She was dirty as hell.
So this thing was attached to my side. My parents would buy me all kinds of other stuffed animals and I didn’t like them. I just wanted that one. I found out that my mom had been switching the heads for some years ‘cuz I kept getting them really dirty. So she would sew on a new head and there would be weird sew marks around the neck that I would just ignore…cuz I literally took it everywhere.
So when I was seven, or so, we went on a trip to Florida. I accidentally left it bundled up in the sheets of the hotel room. Like an hour down the road, away from the hotel room, we were going to stay somewhere else—another place in Florida—and I was sitting in the back seat with my brother. My doll didn’t get packed away with things when we went on trips. It was always sitting with me. And I guess I was too excited doing something else, and it just dawned on me that she wasn’t there. And it was just like…it was like losing a child, but I was a kid. I mean, I freaked out and threw a fit, and when I realized that she wasn’t coming back, I stopped freaking out and I was just a lump—completely immobile. And I realized that I lost here, and I was freaking out, and I was going to die…and it was just like, so fucking awful. I was completely a mess until the next day [when] my mom decided that that was just ridiculous that I was in so much pain. So she staged this whole elaborate thing where she’d gone out and bought a new cabbage patch doll, and then her and my older sister had spent time making it really dirty, and burning its face so it looked kind of like my old, disgusting cabbage patch doll.
They packaged it up in a box like it had been mailed to this new hotel we were at. They made up this story about how it had been “Put into the commercial wash with all the sheets, but look she’s fine now. Oh her clothes are missing…Oh I guess they lost them…” and I looked at her, and I knew it wasn’t her, but it was so much denial that I was just like, “No. Fuck it. It’s her,” and I picked her up, and I hugged her. And I was so fucking happy. It was ’till years that I realized that no, that wasn’t the same doll. And so I called my sister and I actually talked to her about it.
So that is my Lianney Sandy story. And I still have the replacement Lianney Sandy sitting in my bedroom.
Music by Silence – L’autre endroit – Sale
Losing Something by Jody Stephens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.