That Night With the Teddy Bear

When I went to university, I had high hopes that my life would become less boring and that I would have some interesting stories to tell later on. And well, that came true. I’ve lived through longs days and long nights, and I have been in situations where I would suddenly think ‘how on earth did I end up here?’. It’s safe to say that university did more than just teaching me Russian and Polish.

And since some stories are too good not to tell, I will now dig into my memories to tell you one of my favourite stories. It’s one of my favourites because it is absolutely random and funny. Stick with me, reader, if you want to know what the link between long nights and curious teddy bears is…

This story takes place during the second semester of my first year at university. That year I had a sweet nothing with a guy I will call X, because I find that an appropriate letter when you want to protect someone’s identity. We were definitely not a couple, not even fuck buddies. At most you could call us kiss buddies. And text buddies, because we texted a whole lot. Since we would only meet at night, this was our way of staying in touch.

X liked going out and drinking and did that a whole lot. He could, because he rarely attended his classes. I did attend all of my classes (okay, except for one, completely useless bullshit class), so I also used my nights for sleeping. So one night, it was a Monday in April, I went to sleep at midnight and slept for two hours. For some reason I woke up after those two. I heard my mobile phone freaking out since my inbox was full. My inbox is always full. I don’t know why I am the only one struggling with that, but okay. My phone was vibrating with a passion, and I was awake and annoyed by it, so I got out of bed and started deleting texts so the next ones could arrive safely.

Apparently, X had been sending a lot of messages, asking where I was and saying I had to come. I believe there were even sad smileys involved. I told him I was trying to sleep and that therefore I couldn’t come. He replied saying I had to come. I told him I was trying to sleep and that therefore I couldn’t come. But of course he didn’t listen. For some reason (I could guess what that reason was) he seemed to need my presence. At some point he suddenly said: I have a bear for you!

A bear? I thought. How can he have a bear for me?

I figured that it was a typo and replied that I liked beer, but not tonight. I was trying to sleep, you see. I needed my sleep so I could attend my class the following morning.

Not a beer, he replied, a bear.

A bear.

Do you have any idea how weird that sounds? When a guy tells you he has a bear for you, and it’s around 3 am, that sounds very, very weird. Especially because he wasn’t the romantic type and I didn’t suspect that he would have bought me a gift to deliver it at home at 3 am.
Time was passing, so yes, we were heading towards 3 am and I still wasn’t back asleep. And I didn’t know what to reply to that text saying he had a bear for me. So I said: Oh, now I understand.

I think he was too drunk to understand that I didn’t get the bear thing, or at least that I had understood him so wrong. So he said: I’m bringing it to you.

No, I said. I’m trying to sleep, I need my sleep, and if you come over now, I know I won’t be sleeping.

I must have said that a thousand times. He didn’t listen though. He said he would be quiet, but added that he was on his way.

So I sat there, 3 am, thinking oh no, oh no, oh no, he’s coming with his bear and I don’t want that, and I will not give in, not to him! At the same time I couldn’t believe that he was really heading towards me. Nevertheless I kept on trying to make clear that I didn’t want him here, that he shouldn’t come, and so on.

Time kept going. 3:30. Well, there goes my sleep.

Suddenly he texted: I’m at your door.

I lived in a house with five other students, and my room was on the first floor, right above the front door. I could have looked out of my window to see if he was really there. But somehow, I didn’t dare to do that. Somehow, I couldn’t believe he was really there. I don’t remember what I replied then. Maybe I still repeated that I needed my sleep. But he kept responding saying he was really there, and that it was cold.

About half an hour had passed after his text saying he was there. It was 4 am. I didn’t know what to think of it, until he said: Hurry up, it’s cold ;(.

So I put on the light, brushed my hair a little and said to myself that even if he wasn’t there, I didn’t have to tell him that I went to take a look. Then I went downstairs. Our front door is partially milk glass, and I could see a silhouette.

So he has really come.

I opened the door, and there he was.

With a teddy bear in his arms. An innocent teddy bear.

He only wore a T-shirt with short sleeves and shorts. In the middle of the night. No wonder he was cold. And he was carrying a quite big teddy bear who wore a red knit cap. I didn’t expect to see this, so the first thing I said, was: “Are you insane?”

Still I felt compassion and let him in, since it really was cold. And after all, you don’t get a teddy bear delivery every day, right? Then he told me the teddy bear came from a student bar. How romantic to get a stolen teddy bear as a present! He also told me that he even got lost on his way to me. Normally, that road would have taken about half an hour, which is already long when you’re wearing so little and it’s night. And then he even got lost. All just to get that criminally acquired teddy bear to me. I almost felt flattered.

It was quickly decided that he could stay, though I warned him to keep his hands off me for the reason I had been repeating so often already. Next to that I was determined to not give him what he wanted. But okay. It ended up with him sleeping so deep and me lying awake. Of course. But at least he listened to me when I said he should keep his hands off me.

The next morning I ‘woke up’ (though I didn’t manage to fall asleep for real), went to take a shower and ate some yoghurt, all while he was still asleep. Then he woke up as well. I gave the teddy bear back to him and told him he should return it to the student bar. What could I do with it? Nothing. And I didn’t want something stolen sitting in my room. He accepted it, but never returned it, as far as I know. We walked back to town together  until our roads parted. Right before I left for class and he would continue what he called his Walk Of Shame, he asked for a kiss. Coming to think of it, that must have been the only time we publicly kissed in daylight.

We never did any better than kiss buddies, but still: how many people can say they had a teddy bear delivered at 4 am?

Exactly.

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Fear of the Dark

When I was a lot younger and smaller, I was scared of the dark. Like any other child, I believe. For example, I firmly believed there could be thieves waiting next to the door to my room, waiting for me to fall asleep so they could get in and steal stuff. I now wonder what made me think I had anything worth stealing in my room, but back then I was convinced there could be thieves. When I went to sleep, I would face my door so I would see someone entering, just in case.
A few years later on there was a young girl missing in Belgium. Since that moment, I got scared of finding dead bodies. I was immensely scared of dead people. Honestly I’m still not very comfortable when thinking of that. But I did stop checking under my bed in my closets before going to sleep. I kind of trust that dead bodies don’t just end up somewhere in our house.

The older I got, the more I realized I shouldn’t watch scary movies. That could be thrillers or the paranormal kind of movies. So no, I haven’t seen Paranormal Activities. God I’m glad for that! I did see The Grudge though, half of it, as I hid behind my hand or a pillow or whatever quite often. While my niece sat there with a poker face, saying things like ‘Oh, now his jaw falls on the floor’ the entire time. Then we knew we had to hide, so actually that was good.
Later that evening we had to go to sleep. My bed was placed in such a way my head would be close to the suddenly suspicious looking curtains. We changed it.

I’m a scaredy cat. That’s just what it is. I’ve been afraid of the dark quite long, and never liked being home alone in the evening. The sounds you hear when you’re alone are definitely not the ones you hear when there are other people around. Suspicious as hell.

But things got better when I grew older. Like, I started to realize how small the chances are that thieves can just sneak into our house and wait behind a door until everyone’s asleep to steel my music box. The chances you suddenly find a dead body aren’t all that high either. Though I’m still not all that comfortable all the time, I sure am more rational about it.

So now I’m 19 years old, and scared of the dark again. I don’t know what happened. Since I went to university I have come home during the night, with barely any light so often I couldn’t even count it anymore. I was never scared. Maybe because a bit of alcohol and a lot of fun makes you more at ease perhaps. Then why am I currently scared to leave my bed at night? Why do I hesitate before I open a door? Why do I feel like I need my teddy bear? It seems like darkness got the enemy again. A while back I liked the night-time, because it feels like possibilities and going out and beer. Night was good. Now night has become the time when I can’t fall asleep and hear noises. Not voices, noises. All around. And often I can’t figure out where they  come from, what causes these sounds. Even with three other people in this house I feel uncomfortable. I kid you not.

You know what I think? I think my brains decided I don’t want to grow up after all, and they’re throwing me back in time. But if there’s any part I just really want to leave behind, it’s this one…

Of course I couldn’t not include this song…

For once and for all

Addiction.
The moment you know exactly what you should do, but you don’t. The moment you know you should turn around and leave, but you stay. You stay and kill your conscience. Living in the moment, but not in the good way.
The feeling you should wave him aside and you don’t. Because you can’t really miss it. And you want more. So you stay, just to get more of this. Even though it’s certainly not good for you. And you know it.

But you stay.

Addiction.

I’m not good at saying ‘no’. If I want something, I want it now, immediately. There are times I really think about the future, but sometimes, I don’t care. What matters is that I’ve got the chance now to feel like someone cares, so Iwant to take the opportunity. There’s nothing as addicting as feeling like someone cares about you. Affection is probably the worst drug.
It’s easier to see myself as a victim that way. After we had met, it quickly became clear that this would lead to nothing. You can’t keep up the enthusiasm if you never meet each other, so I was sort of prepared for it to fade out, which it did. I truly believed we wouldn’t meet again, and above all, I believed it didn’t matter for him whether he saw me or not. I was like the optional part in his life. Which doesn’t mean it didn’t matter to me when it all really faded out.
But things changed again. We met again. It mattered again. At least it seemed to be that way. I was never sure though; was I being pathetic? Did he actually like me? Did he care? And how was I supposed to find out when we would never meet on purpose, when all we did was meeting at night by chance? I was constantly balancing between something and nothing. The voice of reason in my head was pretty clear: this is bullshit. He doesn’t care and never will, so stop wasting your time on it.

But how tempting it is to feel like  someone cares… So I killed that voice of reason, ignored it, burnt it down. Sort of. That’s when things only got worse. If someone brings you a teddy bear in the middle of the night, wouldn’t you think you weren’t just optional? That you mattered to him? When he leaves his friends for you, wouldn’t you think there would be coming more than just another night of drinking together?
Maybe I’m just wrong.
Or maybe he’s just an asshole who in fact never cared and who just tried to take advantage of me. At least the voice of reason in my head made sure I wouldn’t do anything too stupid, that would make it all the more confusing afterwards.
You know, after that, when it all faded out again. I returned to optional. Everything started to be ‘a long time ago’. We didn’t even meet at night anymore. You can’t live on nothing and so this died.

Of course I liked the nights with too much beer, cigarettes, him and his friends. But they weren’t quite healthy and mostly they made the morning after pretty hard. I shouldn’t blame him for the fact that I drank and stayed up such a long time, but he certainly didn’t help. His bad habits were slowly changing into mine too. It was all quite addicting, and that’s why I would never have made it stop myself. He was the one who let it fade away.

It’s probably better for you to have the source of addiction removed. But I truly hope I will see him again someday, just to show him what he misses and that I won’t be tricked again by him. Because really, I should have stopped you from using me this way, but while I couldn’t, you should have ended this twisted something right away. Like you subtly, vaguely said you would. But you didn’t.

So sincerely: fuck you.

In this context, please don’t interpret this song as a song on BDSM. Thank you.
Related posts:

* To get me out
* Running over the same old ground…

* Beauty in the breakdown
* To darkness and to me