I don’t remember the day you came into my view. It wasn’t possible. You entered the moment I was born, maybe even before I got home. You were brought to me by my grandfather, from some exotic place.
You were just about my size, maybe even a bit bigger, stronger, and hairier. You were warm. You were alive.
I called you Bear. My Bear. But you didn’t like, you said you were a Panda Bear. So I started calling you Panda Bear. My Panda Bear. And you liked being mine.
My mother told me we looked at each other just like two friends do, over some endless conversation. We talked about everything, even before I learned to speak. Wherever I was, you were there with me. You had an opinion about everything, and, to be honest with you, that annoyed me a bit.
I was angry with my mom when she told us you had to take a bath. You came out of the water empty, dead? But my mom brought you back to life and better than ever! It was such a happy day! I promised I would never let you go.
But I didn’t keep the promise. I discharged you, abandoned you, replaced you. I grew up and found you ridiculous, old and ugly. I thought you were no longer part of my life, and moved you away. I actually wanted to set myself free and give you to some pathetic kid, who wanted someone like you in his life. But my mom didn’t let me, and just kept you. I didn’t want to hear more from you. You embarrassed me.
I grew up and you stood there, at the end of the large closet. You got scared of me, but never abandoned me. You started living in the closet, without natural light, along with other discharged bears.
I never embarrassed you, not even for a moment, not even for a tiny portion of a second. Not even when my beard grew, my voice got lower, or when I fell in love with other people. You were always there, even if not showing yourself.
Some days ago, I found some old pictures of us and I missed you. I looked for you in the closet and I found you. You started talking to me immediately, as if we had never stopped doing it, not even for a second. We talked for a moment, which seemed short to me. Short for all the things that had happened, all the things you were aware of.
I asked some of my friends where their buddies were and almost everyone still had them. A duck, a doll, Snoopy and dog with a colorful t-shirt. A rabbit, a lamb and a she-bear. All of them existed and were still there. And I didn’t feel so alone. Some of the boys were reluctant to admit their friendship, but not the girls. A friend told me you were my father’s substitute, but my father is not you. You have always been you, and still are.
You were kept again, but with respect now. You were cleaned up and you received a new place of yours, prettier. I know you won’t let me go.
I was very glad to see you were in good shape, and that you kept the youth I also had when I was just a boy. I envy that boyish world of yours, where you can keep yourself, even after everything you went through. Even after everything we went through.