Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sweet Oblivion by Bailey Ardisone

Have you ever wanted to forget? Nariella Woodlinn has. Many times. Especially when her already frustrating life gets turned upside down by a mysterious boy who randomly shows up in her small town and she can’t seem to understand anything about him, despite how much she tries.
Nari hates everything about her life except for her best friend Rydan, but now that they’ve been separated during their senior year of high school, she has to learn to make new friends without him. When strange unexplainable phenomenons start becoming an every day part of her life, Nari struggles to come to grips with reality. And with love.

Naminé has responsibilities. Duties. It is her obligation to fulfill all that is asked of her by their King. But when a glimmer of hope is introduced to her by a prisoner she tends to and it means life or death for her and her people, she does all that she can to turn that hope into reality and finally end the vicious war that has been ensuing since she was born. Even if that means keeping it secret from her King. Even if it means carrying out the biggest betrayal against the King ever seen during her time.

She has hope. She will fulfill her duty. She will not let her people down.

Unexpected love. Friendship. Secrets. And loss. Sometimes all you want to do is drown into Sweet Oblivion.



A single tear sneaks down my cheek. I am too scared to move to wipe it from my face so I let it slip down and land on Teddy. His soft fur soaks it up and I hug him tighter.
Teddy was my best friend. He was not just a toy, he was my Teddy Bear. We had been through a lot together. He was all I had, I was all he had, and it was my duty to protect him. We protected each other, isn’t that what friends were for?
When I looked into his eyes I could see his love for me, his desire to protect me. He was more than just a stuffed bear, he was Teddy; My Teddy.

I dare not open my eyes for I know I am surrounded by darkness, but if it’s dark maybe he won’t be able to find me. I had crawled to my closet, trying not to make a single sound. I quietly shut the door and scoot back as far as I can. Quickly, I tug my baby blue Care Bears nightgown over my knees, and as I stroke Teddy’s fur I whisper in his ear, “It will be alright Teddy, don’t be afraid,” as my voice quivers at the end.
I was terrified, but I had to be brave for Teddy. I wouldn’t let him see how scared I was.
The sound of footsteps in the hallway near my door makes my eyes clench tighter. I pray that he won’t come in the room but will just ignore me and forget I am here.

Suddenly, a loud crash like glass shattering in pieces makes me jump. I hear his disturbing laughter and he mumbles something but I can’t make out any words from his stumbling slur.
All of a sudden it goes quiet. I open my eyes against the darkness and hug Teddy tighter to my chest so that he can’t see the terror on my face.
The door of my room opens and thick hard footsteps on my wood floor cause me to tremble. Instantly those footsteps come closer to the closet door. I shut my eyes real tight and pretend that I am not here. I am somewhere else, somewhere warm, safe, far away from here.
The handle turns and the closet door opens slowly. It felt like hours sitting there, clutching Teddy like it would be my last.
Reluctantly I open my eyes and look up to see the dark brown eyes of the person who now neglected, hated, and emotionally tortured me over a mistake that changed both our lives forever.
But what I see in his eyes terrifies me more than anything had ever in the past. My eyes widen and I suddenly feel a gut wrenching terror when I realize that he wasn’t looking at me.
He was looking at Teddy.

“NO!!!!!!!!” I scream as I clutch Teddy even tighter.
“Give me that stupid bear,” he drunkenly slurred. He ripped Teddy from my arms and I kicked his shin as hard as I could. I had to save Teddy. He trusted me, only me. I couldn’t let the monster take him.
“Stupid little brat,” he says as he grabs my arm tight, shoves me back in the closet and slams the door.
I grab my arm which now throbs from being held so tight, and as I land on the floor pools of tears huddle in my eyes. I feel so sad and start to tremble. “Teddy?” I struggle to get out. But Teddy’s not there. It’s just me all alone…again.

* * * * * * *

As the overwhelming feeling of loss and sorrow came crashing down on me, it was enough to slowly stir my sleeping consciousness awake. I didn’t have to open my eyes. I knew I was just having the same nightmare I always have. In fact, instead of opening my eyes from the remembered fear, I closed them tighter and clutched my chest, while I balled my blanket up in my fist, burying my tear soaked cheeks.
I’m awake now, it’s over, and I waited for the left over feelings from that traumatizing day that haunted my memories to subside. It was a long time ago. I’ve grown up now. It’s silly for me to still be mourning the loss of that darn teddy bear. But still, every night, I relive that awful day in my dreams and wake up back as that helpless eight year old girl on her birthday. Eventually, I come to my senses and realize it’s been over nine years since that day; I’m not that little girl anymore. But even still, it never fails to feel so real.
It was more than just the loss of a simple teddy bear.
Much, much more.

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