A Short Story
Anna was a nervous child. She was shy and didn’t have many friends that didn’t exist outside of her doll collection. Anna could always be found with at least one of her many dolls. When she did leave her room, she had a doll with her. Every where that Anna went, a doll went too.
One night at the dinner table, Anna’s father asked how school was going. Her parents were concerned about her lack of social interaction. Anna did not raise her eyes to meet her father’s glare. Finally, Anna answered in a quiet, melancholy voice, “School is okay”.
This wasn’t exactly the answer her father was looking for. Anna’s father was not a patient or compassionate man. Anna’s mother sat quietly across the table, only raising her eyes to Anna to show she was listening. Anna’s father spoke again with a little more agitation in his voice than one would expect after asking how school was going. “If you didn’t have such a close relationship with those stupid dolls, you might make a few real friends.”, he said.
This comment caused Anna’s mother to stop eating and raise her head to look over at her husband. The look on her face was not one of worry, but pure fear. Anna, too, looked over at her father with a look that some would consider confidence. There was a moment of silence that seemed longer than it really was, and Anna asked to be excused from the table.
Anna was excused and escaped back to her room. She took several of her dolls and sat on the floor. One of Anna’s favorite past times was brushing her dolls’ hair. It helped release any tension and nervous energy. The dolls sat patiently waiting for their turn to have their hair brushed.
Anna was sitting with her back to the door, but knew it was her father who entered, even though he spoke no word. Anna continued brushing the hair of her dolls and began to hum an unknown tune.
The next morning, Anna was awakened by the sun shining into her bedroom. She stretched and sat up in bed. She moved softly, dangling her legs from the side and looked around the room. A refreshing feeling swept over her as she knew she had no reason to ever worry again. With sleep in her eyes, she smiled at the sight of her dolls. The dolls stood regal in their places…all with a grin of a secret they only shared with Anna.