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Stories & Scripts

Source: Adults

Author: Rhona Aitken

Title: The Cuddle

From the moment we are born we want a cuddle. Most of us anyway. A few, perhaps, do not, but I am sure not many. This particular little person was born deformed, with problems. She had affluent parents, brothers and sisters. There would have been Staff when she was young, and then there was, I suppose, school.
Not having bee a visible asset to her family, they preferred her to be out of sight most of the time, so she became a morose and troublesome youngster. She yearned for attention, but seldom got any. Her Father’s attitude was “Let her eat in the kitchen, her presence spoils my breakfast.
Mother said “I’m busy now Sibyl - come and see me later.”
Brothers and sisters ran off and all too often left their slow, small sister behind.
To get attention she desperately needed she did what most of us have done as children in such a situation - She yelled and shouted her frustration. They locked her in a cupboard until she quietened down. A small, dark cupboard that she knew was full of dwarfs and demons. This happened again and again. If she hurt herself perhaps they wouldn’t bother to hurt her - she thought - so she did. She bit herself - hard.
When she was in her sixties, her Mother, by then an old lady, had to go into a Care Home. Sibyl went with her. She was still mentally very much a child.
Mother died, and Sibyl went into a new Care Home. To her surprise she began to get the attention that she craved; but by then it was all too late. Few, though not many in the new Home knew of her history and unhappiness.
She received no visitors, and very little mail. The Staff realized she was unhappy, and got upset when, in moments of self-dislike she would hit or bite herself. They would praise her as often as they could. - in the knitting class, or when she would try to write a Christmas card. She could barely write her own name.
Recently her frustration boiled over and she set upon an action of self-destruction, throwing herself across her room. She broke her arm and had a nasty cut on her head.
As she got better and as soon as she was able she went down to join the other residents in the lounge - telling them how stupid she was. They did their best to cheer her up. Sibyl was by then in her mid-seventies. Most of the other residents were well into their eighties, and one or two well into their nineties. Many knew her well, and tried hard to make her feel happier about herself.
The Lady running the Care Home was both fond of Sibyl, and worried about her, tending to go into her room in the morning to make sure she was eating her breakfast, and have a little chat.
That morning Sibyl looked up at her and said “Oh Angela - do give me a cuddle. I just want a cuddle.” Cuddling was something Angela was extremely good at, and gave cuddles very readily. She put her arms around Sibyl and suggested a run in the car as the sun was shining and it was a lovely warm day.
“Would you like that Sibyl?”
There was no reply. Angela looked down at her. Sibyl had died in her arms, without a warning of any sort.
There was a small smile on her weary face. It was a shock, but as a weeping Angela said later -
“She died as she was being cuddled - and that, for Sibyl, was wonderful.”
Difficult as she was, they all missed her.
They all wished she could have known that.
She would have been so surprised.

This is a true story.

Published on writebuzz®: Adults > Stories & Scripts

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