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Papa was very kind. He called me his treasure. Papa was a good man. He took good care of me. He named me Carreen. He said it meant beautiful girl. He would always tell me I am beautiful. Papa did my hair, he made me clothes. Papa loved me and I loved Papa.
One day, Papa didn't wake up. I tried to wake him, but I couldn't. Papa wasn't snoring like he usually did. He wasn't moving. He didn't move for a long time, until someone moved him. It looked like the boy from a picture he showed me. His name was Robert. He was Papa's nephew. Papa and Robert were gone for a long time. I was left alone, for a very long time. Things got dusty. Everything was covered in a film of the icky dark flaky substance. When Robert came back, he didn't have Papa with him. He was going through Papa's stuff. He was throwing all of Papa's things into boxes. Big boxes. I was going to ask him what he was doing, but before I could, I remembered what Papa told me, So I didn't speak. Soon Robert come over to me, he picked me up, examined me. He smiled and I saw a tear fall down his face. Then, suddenly, he pushed me inside one of the dusty boxes.
I was in that box for what seemed like forever. Crammed, awkward, my legs in ways they weren't suppose to be. Papa wouldn't have treated me like this. I really miss Papa.
It was years before I saw the light again. This time though, I wasn't in Papa's room. I was in a busy little room, with lots of people and shelves full of odds and ends. Days after being put in this busy room, people would occasionally stop to look at me, they'd gawk in awe. I was never used to this much attention. I wasn't used to this many people. I was always in Papa's room, with only papa, or his nephew. I didn't like this attention. The torture went on for days, until a woman looked at me. She looked kind and reminded me of Papa's old wife. She had that same smile, warm and gentle. She picked me up and held me, gently, carefully examining me. She smiled bigger and took me over to a long table with an elderly lady who was fiercely scribbling things into a notebook.
The young woman handed the elderly lady some green paper and some metal coins. Papa told me those things were money.
The young woman carried me out of the store and to a large machine. She sat me on the padded chair and closed the heavy door, and inserted her keys into a tiny keyhole on the side of the wheel. Then the big machine started grumbling and vibrating. It was a loud contraption. I turned my head to look at the lady, she had brown hair, pulled into a loose bun and rosy cheeks. She had pretty ivory skin, long lashes and golden brown eyes. Her lips were a gorgeous rosy red – like mine! She wore a cardinal red sweater over a white blouse with a brown belt around her waist.
I saw her start to look at me, so I returned to my normal position. Excited to have a Mama. When the big machine stopped, she scooped me up and took me inside of a big white building. It looked like it had a lot of rooms!
She opened the big white door and that's when all the noise started. There were barking dogs and little high pitched shrieks yelling out her name.
"Mommy! Mommy!" I turned my head to look at what was causing all of the noise and seen two little children. One a boy, the other a girl. The girl had bright red hair and blue eyes. She had chocolate cake smeared across her face. As did the boy, who was blonde with brown eyes. They both appeared to what Papa said were 'toddlers'. He always said they were demons in human form, this scared me. The though of being in the same room with unholy beasts.
Though, as papa stated, I kept to being still.
The woman, whom they called Mommy, was talking to the small girl about her birthday present. She told the young girl to be careful with me. Wait, what? "Today I trust you with a new toy, this one though, is very fragile, so be careful okay? It breaks very easy."
The young girl shrieked in joy and snatched me out of he woman's hand and began to bounce me around, inspecting every inch of my body. "So pretty!!"
She looked up my little dress at my black and white striped stockings and my black little shoes. I began to feel violated. Glad when she finally set me down when her mother mentioned going out for ice cream.
The young girl threw me down on the floor, running out of the room to where the woman stood, keys to the loud machine in hand.
The woman soon left, with both of the little demons.
When I was sure they were gone, I began to stand up on my tiny feet. I stood slowly, carefully and when I was sure I was okay and stable, I dusted off my little dress. I sighed and felt for my hair, it was matted and tangled. Papa wouldn't be happy if he knew what had happened to me! As I began to walk across the soft, padded little room, I stumbled, I had tripped over a shoe. A little shoe, like mine.
I frowned and held it up, it was hideous! Who on earth would wear something so revolting!
I kept walking, looking for an exit to this place, with no luck.
Two hours later
The family returned, I was hiding. I was hiding somewhere stuffy, dirty and dark, but I am too afraid to care. The little girl came running into the room where she left me. I heard her intake of breath at my absence.
"Mommy! Where is she!?"
I heard the girl's thumping feet as she came near, searching for me. To my dismay, she found me. She grabbed me and yanked me out from under the dark place I hid. I screamed, and that was when she dropped me. I hit my head on the plush ground and then stood and ran away. I ran. I had broken Papa's number one rule, but I am scared. I ran away from the giant demon, I cried for my Papa, I cried as I ran. Begging for Papa to come and save me. The girl chased after me, amused that I was running. The girl soon caught me and picked me up. "Why are you running? Why are you scared? What's your name?" Her voice told me she was excited. Her voice was loud, breathy and stunk of chocolate and strawberries and Kool-aid. The girl took me to her room.
I didn't speak, I didn't move, this made her upset. I tried to play it off as she was imagining things. I stopped everything that would show I could move.
The poor I put on this act, the madder and madder she became. After a while, she took scissors to my hair, threatening to cut it off if I didn't respond. I was reluctant, I loved my hair, but I stuck to my plan. The scissors sliced through my beautiful black hair. Severed it completely, it was now at the nape of my neck, and choppy. It was uneven and ugly! I didn't give in though, because soon, she picked me up and stormed out of the room angrily. She threw me down on the hard, tiled floor of what was the kitchen and screamed. "I hate this doll! It's boring!" The mother looked hurt, and I felt bad for her. When the mother seen what the girl had done to my hair, the mother became angry, and even more angry when she noticed that, when the daughter threw me down, she broke off my leg...
The mother loved me. I had that effect on people.
The mother grabbed her daughter, smacked her flat on the cheek and yelled. I could see the fear in the daughter's face, this made me smile. I looked at the mother, when she looked at me, and I begged her to take care of me. She did just as I told her to.
She fixed my leg and cleaned me up, then, the mother was gone. I could hear screaming as I took the tiny plastic pink brush and combed it through my uneven hair. It looked horrible... but it will have to stay.
When the mother returned, I smiled up at her and she looked at me, whispering that I was beautiful. She called me Carreen. She fed me the flesh of her children. She made me clothes. She combed my hair. She became my new Mama.