All That Remains

The bear was all that remained. Elaine died two weeks ago and her daughters had been busy cleaning out her cottage. I wanted to see if they found the secret.

Elaine and I had been friends since her family moved into the house next door when we were both six. We became inseparable and the bond grew stronger as we aged. We liked the same music, books, food, style of clothing. We could talk forever about nothing or debate important issues without anger.

At first Elaine didn’t know my secret, six year olds are very trusting. But by the time we were twelve she suspected the truth. She never told and I loved her for her faithfulness. We didn’t speak of it aloud but she wrote it all in a small journal and stitched it into the belly of her favorite teddy bear. No one would have believed her anyway.

She kept my secret. I was the ghost of a little girl who died in the house next door to hers. The little girl who had disappeared when she was five and whose body had never been found. The little girl buried in the garden.

Now only the bear knew.

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