Three days had passed since the museum incident and we had barely spoken to one another. We were still at the Hotel. We ran into each other often, but silence was the common language.
Vincent's death had hit everyone harder than you'd have thought. We didn't even say his name anymore, and even if we did I don't think I could say it with out breaking down. I had only lived a short time and all ready I had to deal with the death of a close friend.
It was times like these that I wished I had my Father to run to.
We didn't know whether or not to bury Vincent. Instead, we burned what was left of the bear; a warrior's funeral. It wasn't fair. It could have happened to anyone, and it had to be him.
Vincent had saved my life more times than I could remember. When I was younger, before he came to life, he scared away the darkness just by being there. Then he fought for everyone I cared about till his death. Now he's gone and it should have been someone else. Someone who deserved it; maybe me.
Carl says that he died a death worthy of someone great, but the truth is that he was killed while completely unconscious. He was killed in his sleep, which normally would have been peaceful, but this sleep was anything but. Vincent died terrified, fighting and alone.
I stared in to the toy shop at the arrangements of bears in the window, hoping that one of them would get up and start talking. I had been staring for 5 hours now. I had watched as the lights in the shop dimmed and the owner locked the doors. All I had was this hope, and if I looked away then I would be admitting that he's gone.
I shouldn't be this attached because most of the time I knew him he was an inanimate toy, but he came to life. He was a person that I'd come to know. He was a person that I'd come to trust.
"Crystal," Nick's hand on my shoulder pulled me out of my thoughts, "everyone is wondering where you are."
"My Dad bought him for me.", I wiped the wet from my cheek, "He took me to a small toy store not far from where I lived. The store was super expensive, but my dad wanted me to choose whatever I wanted. I was looking at the dollhouses and fake carriages when I saw him. He was jammed between the biggest dollhouse and the wall, and he looked so uncomfortable, so unhappy."
Nick was silent, and I didn't blame him. Vincent was my bear, he'd been with me most of my life.
"I passed over him. I had my eye on another doll that could learn its name, one that would have put my Dad back $600 while the bear only cost $2. I kept thinking about that bear stuck, looking unhappy. I couldn't get him out of my head. I felt so bad leaving him there while all the other dolls would be sold. I didn't want him to not have a home. I got so confused at what I should do. I wanted the doll, but the bear would suffer and never be found."
I knew I was crying but I didn't care. This museum incident had taken its toll on everyone somehow. After the first night in the hotel, Carl vanished and Ben kept himself locked in his room. Andrew had been shunned immediately and violently, almost made me feel sorry for him until we learned what he'd done to Ben. Will spent the last two days trying to convince Kelly that all this stuff was real, and despite what she had seen it still took a lot of convincing. Nick and I were awkward together at best, and at worst we were at each other's throats.
"I chose Vincent because I didn't want him to be alone and scared, but it didn't matter. He still ended up that way and there's nothing I could have done. What was the point of bringing him to life if he was just going to be killed?"
"He was here for you, Crystal.", Nick tried to comfort me, "He always fought to protect you."
"I spent two dollars killing a good friend, Nick. If I'd chosen that first doll, then he'd never been put in this situation. I should have forgotten about the bear, then maybe he would have found someone normal. Maybe he would have protected someone whose biggest problem was children at a schoolyard. No, life had to be cruel. His life wasn't worth the money I spent. It was worth so much more."
"You're still alive, Crystal," Nick put his hand on my shoulder, "and I bet he would have considered that a bargain."
I heard Nick walk toward the hotel.
I stared at the window for another two hours.