I remember the first time I loved so much, and how it hurt so much when I lost it.
IT! Yup, my first love was my first and ONLY rag-doll. CORALYN. That’s what I called her. It wasn’t actually her name. I just realized several years later that it’s the brand name written on the tag stitched to the sleeve of her dress. I had mistaken it for a nametag!
I won’t forget the very first time I laid eyes on her. She came to me as a Christmas-birthday gift from one of my godmothers. She was in one of those neatly wrapped presents that I carefully, slowly yet excitedly unwrapped in anticipation. And viola! After all the ribbons and wrappers had gone, there she was in front of me wearing her Sunday floral pink dress that fits her perfectly, with a hat to adorn her long brown braided hair, and a sweet dimpled smile pasted on her rosy cheek face. She was a beauty!
She truly was precious. Far more outstanding among all the presents I got that year. I wanted her with me all the time, to cuddle her on my lap when I ate or have her beside me when I slept, but I did none of those. She was too pretty! I was careful not to untangle her braided curls and I didn’t want even a tiny stain on her glorious physique. So I thought I know just what to do. I kissed and embraced her soft huggable body and placed her on display in my dresser. I brought her down when I needed to remember her scent and how soft she felt in my arms or just to have another closer look at her pretty face. But that was very seldom, I was mostly contented staring at her through the glass in that display cabinet. I took good care of her, or at least I thought I did.
Then one day, she was gone. I was sure I left her in the same spot behind that glass but she wasn’t there. I searched but didn’t find her. I was sad and heart-broken. I cried about her. Suddenly my dresser didn’t look that nice without her in the center. I’ve lost my one love at the age of seven, my precious Coralyn!
Days passed and I still haven’t got a clue about the mystery of her disappearance. I’ve learned to get by without her but I never loved another rag doll ever again. Time passed and I guess I grew a few inches taller. I switched to Barbie but she’s not as huggable as my one love then.
I didn’t know I was compelled to a great discovery during one of our rare visits to our Aunt’s. Under a wooden chair in their living room, there lies my precious Coralyn. Her braid untangled, she’s got slits on her face, and her soft body all muddy. My spirit sank and my already broken heart shattered into even tinier pieces. I’ve learned that my grandmother thinking I didn’t like my doll took the liberty of giving it to my cousin. That explained the mystery. I wanted to take her back but I didn’t. I remembered how sad I was losing her and I didn’t want my cousin to feel the same misery. I didn’t want to break my cousin’s heart, so I didn’t insist taking my love back.
I noticed that even at her catastrophic state, Coralyn still managed to keep the sweet dimpled smile on her face. If I had known she wouldn’t mind getting dirty and her dress getting torn, I would have held her in my arms more often. I would have kept her with me every minute and I would have played with her every chance I got. But I didn’t know that. In order for me to keep her I thought I had to take care of her the way I did, just loving her from a distance.
As it was explained to me, my grandmother wouldn’t have thought I disliked my Coralyn if I spent time with her, if I held her in my arms more often, especially if I had vocalized why I just kept her on display. I didn’t know that was the kind of caring they wanted me to show. An aunt suggested replacing her with another, but she gave me a teddy bear – that wasn’t Coralyn. It won’t ever be the same.
I envied my cousin. But I’ve accepted that my Coralyn wouldn’t be mine again. I just have to be happy that she’s loved by someone else. Loved the way she’s supposed to be loved. The kind of love she deserved, practically the kind of love I failed to give her. So that was the story of my first and only rag doll, my first broken heart, and my first lesson on loving and being loved.