I woke up in the box again. Stuffed inside the darkness, shoved against all the others. The only light came from the small opening near the top of the box, allowing a laser thin beam in a line covering the box’s entire lid like a safety net. I hate it in here, day after day, I have been waking up in the stupid unyielding box and you haven’t even had the decency to tell me why.
It wasn’t always like this though, was it? We use to have such good times. You would take me camping, or out to play in the backyard. I used to wake up snuggled tightly in your bed, the blankets wrapped warmly around us and you would keep me safe. I thought those blissful days would never end. I was happy.
Then, you started to change. I would awaken and I would be somewhere I didn’t recognize. Stranded in the kitchen or dumped off in a hallway. Sometimes, you even left me outside where I was scared and cold! I used to tell myself you were just busy, you had a lot to do. Unlike me, you had responsibilities – school and work and life. All I had to do was to make you happy. I always trusted you, I trusted that you would always come back to me.
I remember when you used to fight for me. Anytime another person would look at me or want to touch me you would throw a fit, do you remember? You even got into a fistfight with your best friend because he grabbed me when you went to the bathroom and he would not give me back to you. Do you ever think about those times? I do! I think about them everyday. Everyday when I open my eyes to the darkness of the box. Everyday when all I can do is push and fight for space as I stare into the white light, wishing and hoping you would come back for me. A wish that never comes true.
It is easy for you, there are a hundred of me, maybe more. However, for us there is only one you. We grow close, we laugh and we play. We love you, as you move from one to the other staying with us just long enough to get bored, than moving on the newest thing. Never thinking about the ones you left behind, we slowly die in the box. We are the ones that you kill every time you open the box and not pick one or more of us, the ones left unused.
We talk, you know. We talk about how to get you back. We talk about ways to get out of this suffocating box. Now we are talking about ways to hurt you like you hurt us. To make you understand how it feels to be broken, to be left behind, hurt and forgotten. Near the bottom of the box are the poor pieces you thought were trash. The ones you toyed with.
Did you think it was funny to strap fireworks to their backs, or to use the sun to melt their faces? Even in their state of despair, they talk too! They too want out of the box too, but they need help. And who better to help the ‘Broken’ than the ‘Unused’? We all want out of the box. It is now the only thing I think about. All we have is time, time to plan and plot. Time to find a way out, and trust me, when we do get out, we will get our revenge, we will take all the time we need to play with you!
Days pass. They stretch into weeks, months, and now, years. Even with the tiny sliver of light, it has become difficult to tell from inside the box whether it is night or day. It looks the same, all merged into one. We are talking less and less now. We are weak and some of us have even forgot, but I have not. Even though you put our dark prison, the box, high up in the attic, even though you cut us off from the only light we had, plunging us into the same darkness are hearts were used to, effectively silencing our small cries, still, we cling to hope..
Sitting there in the dark without our sky of light to keep us company some of us became what you always thought of us, trash. Giving into the despair you put us in, no longer talking or thinking, no longer being. Just hunks of plastic, turning most into the very thing you made them believe they were, garbage! Not me! I refuse to let you get off that easy.
I can hear you downstairs. I hear you talking to your friends and your family. Forced to listen to the person I loved so dearly now growing up without me. I listen to you laugh and cry. I feel the pain of every heartbreak, or the joy of every accomplishment. I so want to hate you, but down deep inside of me you are still the little kid who picked me first; the little kid who loved me, was so proud of me! Even as I try to fight it I, I cannot help myself. I am still proud of you.
All thought of revenge left me when I first realized you had moved out, moved away. You became an adult without us. You no longer needed us to make you happy, you were a man now, ready to take on anything. I bet you didn’t even think about us up here did you? You probably forgot that we even existed any longer. The world was so big and open to you, what did a couple of old toys matter to you?
Yet, how could I be mad at you? It probably wasn’t even your choice to box us up and move us to the attic. I could only imagine your parents telling you that you were too old, that it was time for you to make real friends who would coax you away from living in your imagination.
I was almost convinced that you were not at fault. I believed it was just you growing up, that it had to happen. I was almost ready to let go, to stop thinking, to stop being. But than you came back
I had almost forgotten what your voice sounded like, but when I heard it, all the old emotions came flooding back to me. The sadness of losing you, the heartbreak of being forgotten inside the box, the hurt of being unused. It all came rushing back! I heard your footsteps on the attic stairs. You came up to the attic, and I heard you speaking. I heard you saying that you thought your son might like to have some of your old toys to play with. The very toys you had growing up.
No! I cannot go through it all again. I will not let my hopes get high, wishing and hoping to be picked, to be loved again, just to have them smashed as before! Smashed feelings again when something better comes around, or when your child grows up like you did, and once again, we are forced to go back to the attic. It is not fair. How could you do that to us? The old rage surfaced and is back tenfold. The others feel it too and they begin to wake up.
This time it is worse as not only do we feel unwanted, but now we are used and sitting here in the dark, we have been discarded and forgotten. Will we be given away like trash to be thrown away by someone else? An endless cycle of hurt and disappointment? No, not again! We are going to stop it, we will not let it happen to us anymore!
I can see you both now through a small crack in the attic floor. You saying good night tucking your child in bed. He looks so happy, snuggling with his favorite toy. I can’t stand the scene in my mind, that used to be me, remember? That used to be us. I wonder if it will hurt you more when they too are gone? I hope you find out it was us. Then maybe, you will find a way to end this horrible cycle, and put us out of our misery.
We are ready now. I watch you leave the room from the bottom of the box and I push off the toys on top of me to get closer to the crack in the lid. I think, was this inevitable? How many toys in how many attics are thinking the same thing? Or the ones left under your bed or outside?
How many forgotten toys are plotting right now, how many of them want to hurt their owners like they hurt? Why don’t you think about that every time you buy the newest toys to replace your old unloved ones? Why don’t you think about it as you hand your childhood toys off to others? Think about it before you stop caring. Think about how one day, we might decide when to play on our terms, and then maybe you will hurt like we hurt. Then you will feel the suffering we do, all of us, the unused.