Written by by Carlos Lwanga
The door stood slightly ajar and from it Alice could see that the sun was just rising. They had been down in the basement all night and it was almost morning. Chains rattled softly and water dripped to the floor where it mixed with blood.
Alice looked over at Mr. Hugsies. The purple bear lay huddled and shivering in the corner staring at her with eyes filled with pain and fear. She slouched on the chair she was sitting on and closed her eyes. She wasn’t worried about Mr. Hugsies escaping. She had tied one of his paws to a nearby pillar with a chain where he was now trying to free himself or itself. Whatever, she just wanted to close her eyes.
Please, why won’t you just let me go?
Mr. Hugsies anguished cries only served to remind her that she was in pain too.
Alice opened her eyes, grabbed the bloodied knife on the table and took a deep cut on her left arm. The room filled with Mr. Hugsies screams of pain. Alice wasn’t interested; she had noticed how many cuts they were on her body. She made another on her outer left thigh. She wondered how much more Mr. Hugsies could take. He wasn’t built for pain. Gradually the screaming subsided and he lay there in the corner shivering in pain and holding himself. Alice thought about how cute he looked and how much she loved him.
Alice got up from the chair and walked to where her imaginary friend lay quivering on the floor. Mr. Hugsies had been the only friend she had ever had. He had saved her. Alice smiled at him but he just crawled away from her, moving closer to the wall. Alice bit down hard on her tongue and Mr. Hugsies groaned in pain. Alice tasted the blood in her mouth. She knelt down and reached out to touch Mr. Hugsies.
Why are you doing this?
‘I love you.’ Alice stated as she stroked Mr. Hugsies soft purple fur. His skin cringed underneath her fingers but she ignored it. She remembered how as a little girl crying in her bed, he would come to her. She would always smell him first before he would appear before her and give her a hug.
It’s so painful Alice. Please.
Alice took the bear’s face in her hands and scratched behind his fluffy ears. She drew him near but she felt him resist.
‘Remember how you used to take the pain away?’ Alice asked. Mr. Hugsies turned his large black eyes at her. Tears rolled down his face.
‘Say it.’ Alice ordered. Mr. Hugsies began to sob uncontrollably. Alice left him to cry. Mr. Hugsies had always been overly sensitive. He cried and snorted and cried some more. Finally he began to stop crying but his body still shook, all the while Alice continued to stroke his ear.
Why is little Alice sad?
Why doesn’t little Alice want to play?
Come give Mr. Hugsies a hug
and he’ll take all the sadness away.
Alice drew Mr. Hugsies to her and gave him a hug. She cuddled her face in his fur and smelt him. He smelt like cotton candy and Alice felt like a little girl again waiting for Mr. Hugsies’ hugs after her father had left the room.
‘Why would you ever want to leave me?’ Alice sighed.
You are twenty two years old Alice. I should have left a long time ago. You don’t understand the number of rules you are breaking by keeping me with you.
Alice ignored him.
Alice, this is not right. You’ve got to let me go.
Alice realized that Mr. Hugsies wasn’t hugging her back.
ALICE STOP THIS RIGHT NOW!
Alice threw him hard against the wall. She stood up and walked to the basement door and smashed it shut against her hand. Mr. Hugsies let out a cry of pain.
‘Do you remember how he used to punish me whenever I used to say no to him?’ Alice asked. Mr. Hugsies rolled on the ground sobbing and holding himself. Alice smashed the door on her hand again. It felt horrible just like it used to be. Alice was a thirteen year old girl again. She was peeping over the covers at the door waiting for her father to come. Tap tap tap. Her father wore high heeled shoes so she could always hear him coming closer and closer before the knob would turn and then his silhouette would be at the door. Just say no Alice just say no. Mr. Hugsies would always say. Sometimes she would just cover her head and wait for her father to cross the room to her bed but then there were the nights when she said no.
‘Tell me what he used to do whenever I would say no?’ Alice asked again. The pain in her hand was becoming unbearable. She would need to put her hand in ice afterwards. She had learnt when she was thirteen that it prevented the hand from swelling.
He used to take you out of the bed, take your hand and smash it with the door.
Alice watched the bear put its head in its paws.
I just wanted you to be brave. I couldn’t bear what he was doing to you. I could feel it you know. Your pain and fear. I couldn’t stand you suffering.
‘I don’t blame you,’ Alice said leaving the door and standing by the chair. ‘You were the only thing that made things better. You’re still the only thing that makes things better. That’s why I can’t let you leave.’
Even if I wanted to stay I can’t and keeping me here like this. Doing what you’re doing to yourself. It’s not right!
‘I can handle pain, am used to it,’ Alice said as she sat down. ‘What I can’t handle is being alone.’
Alice you can’t depend on me forever. Friends, boyfriends. Why don’t you have these things? Alice your life can’t just revolve around a purple bear that might not even be real.
The bear drew closer. Alice merely watched him. Alice didn’t need friends and boyfriends. You can’t trust people. The only thing Alice trusted was Mr. Hugsies.
You deserve better. Alice my little Alice please just let me go. Live your life. Don’t be afraid of the future. Don’t let your fear from the past block the wonderful life you could lead. The wonderful life you deserve.
‘I don’t want a wonderful life, don’t you get it,’ Alice said as she continued to watch him. He was now closer to her feet. ‘The moment he touched me for the first time, any chance at a wonderful life went out the window. Back then all I had that was good was you. All I have that is good is you. I never finished school. At work everyone things am crazy talking about a purple bear and the cuts on my body.I can’t even think of boys like a normal girl because my father destroyed that part of me. I have nothing. Only you.’
Alice please it’s been years now. You have to be tired.
Alice was tired. Tired of having to explain it to him. She needed him and that was it. Alice realized that it was dawn and she had to go to work.
‘I’m going to work when I come back tonight I expect you to say you’re staying forever if not then we’ll continue with our sessions.’ Alice got up and walked to the door.
Alice you can’t continue like this. You’ll die please.
Alice reached the door and looked back. The bear was on the floor and there was an appeal in its eyes. Alice hesitated for a bit then she opened the door went through and locked it. Alice placed her head on the door, cold against her skin and mouthed I love you. She then walked up the stairs to take a shower and change and all the time Mr. Hugsies screamed what he would always scream when she locked him up to go to work.
Alice let go. ALICE YOU’VE GOT TO LET GO!