Loved at Last
This is what happiness feels like. I didn’t believe I would ever know the feeling. I’d dreamed about it, but I’d had no confidence it would ever come my way.
I’d watched as others found their place in life. They’d made it look so easy. One look, a smile, and next thing they knew, they’d been swept up in a world filled with love and affection.
It never happened for me though. I was stuck in the background – ignored, somehow not good enough. I’d never managed to figure out what made those others more worthwhile than me. All any of us wanted was to be loved and cherished, and to give our affection in return. I couldn’t deny it though. The evidence was clear for all to see.
It hurt. Jealousy and frustration took over. Why couldn’t I be like the others? Why had I been created differently? Trying to hide who and what I was, was never an option, so why couldn’t others accept and embrace me?
I was ready to give up. I mean, how long could anyone live in a closet or hide on a shelf before all hope disappeared? I tried to stay in a positive frame of mind. Time and again I told myself my turn would come, that one day someone would recognize the beauty in me and make me theirs. But as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, without anybody giving me a second glance, it became first harder and then impossible to pretend, even to myself.
A few days ago something happened. I’m not sure why, but I suddenly found myself in the foreground, visible to all. It scared me. After all those months of being nearly invisible, feeling all those eyes on me freaked me out. Part of me didn’t think it would make a difference. If I’d been special enough, I would have been noticed before, despite being hidden in the background.
I prepared for ridicule. I waited for the nasty remarks and the smirks. Why would anyone be interested in me? The world had made it perfectly clear I didn’t deserve to find that special place.
Then he smiled at me. The words he spoke as he took me off the shelf play on a never-ending loop in my mind: you are perfect and exactly what I’ve been looking for.
And now, here I am on a soft bed, surrounded by chocolates and hearts. Love and lust fill the atmosphere. Hope – an emotion I’d given up on – blooms in my heart again.
I was wrong and I’m happy to admit it. My difference didn’t make me less; it made me more special. The right time had to come around for me to find my place in this world.
Patience is a virtue, especially for a Valentine’s Day Teddy bear.
With thanks to Brigham Vaughn for finding this picture and to Pauline McCormack for giving me the inspiration I needed to write the story. Don’t forget to visit the Monday Flash Fics group on Facebook to find out what other stories this picture inspired.