I’m sprawled out on Saige’s bed, writing a history report for school. 9th grade is tough. The contents of my backpack are spread everywhere.
Mom calls my name. “Tracy!” I slide off the bed and head towards the sound.
I enter the living room where Mom is waiting. “I have something for you,” she tells me.
What could it be? I wonder. A new phone case? A call from my teacher saying that I’m obviously the smartest kid in class?
Mom hands me a package wrapped in brown paper. “Surprise!” she sings.
I take it from her.
What could it be? I think again as I sit down. It’s definitely not anything I had guessed. Way too heavy for a phone case. And you don’t wrap up phone calls.
“Open it!” Mom encourages me. So I tear a little hole at the bottom.
And then I tear a little more. All of sudden, I know what it is.
I unwrap the rest of it and hold her up.
I rip her out of the box.
I jump up and twirl around the room with her, laughing all the while.
I’m staring into her sweet hazel eyes when Mom asks nervously, “Do you like her? I mean, I know you’re fourteen, and dolls might not be your thing , but –“
I interrupt her. “She’s perfect,” I assure her. I hope I sound as excited as I feel!
I go back to my room with my new doll in one hand and her book tucked under my other arm.
I push my school supplies out of the way and sit down. Homework can wait!
I try her name out. “Rebecca,” I whisper.
I head over to a dresser where I know some hair supplies are kept.
I dig around in the second drawer until I find it: a small purple comb.
I go back to Rebecca, armed with a comb and squirt bottle.
Then I set to work on her curls.
I hug her against my chest, then hold her back and whisper, “I love you, Rebecca.”