A short story inspired by Sorrow by Devildollmusings a story story of leaving behind family, only this family member was slightly different.
When I was three years old I lost my best friend, sure you might say something like “What does a three year old know about losing a friend?” Well I can tell you now losing a friend can effect a person no matter what age they are.
There we were, Mum, Nanna and myself out for a day at the South Melbourne Market which for a kid of three was not only exciting but scary given how many ‘big people’ there are in such a small place. Despite Mum’s reservations about bringing him along as a three year old it was hardly surprising that I ensured my best friend was by my side for the big outing.
Who was my best friend? A knitted gollywog (before the stupid age of political correctness when such toys became taboo) of about fourteen inches high. He had wonderfully woolly curly hair, wore the colour of my favourite football team and had a huge smile on his face and I took him everywhere from bed to the shops.
Although Mum had no issues with me bringing Golly along for the ride in Nanna’s car she did attempt more than once to get me to leave him in the car while we shopped. But I was three, I was excited, I was scared, and I didn’t want Golly to get lonely by himself in the car, so he came for a ride in the pram with me.
What happened between leaving the car and returning to the car is a question I will never know the answer too (although it might be a good idea for a story one day) but upon returning to the car there was only three of us.
I cried, Mum tried to console me. I screamed, we went back around the market looking for Golly. I yelled, he was no where to be found. Eventually I was put in the car, strapped into my car seat still crying, screaming and yelling. I’d lost my best friend.
Although at the time I probably didn’t see it the same way I know now that the effort Mum and Nanna put in to look for Golly would have been all that they could do, but I had lost my best friend!
I don’t know how much of the seventy minute trip home I spent crying but I’m sure it was a good portion of it and I probably spent a similar time screaming for my lost friend at bed time when he wasn’t there to hug. No doubt the following few days were also spent with tears in my eyes at some point, however that did change on day four when my Aunty arrived for morning coffee with Mum.
I had no idea where he’d been for three days, what he’d been doing or how he managed it but somehow Golly had managed to make his way to Aunty Betty’s house. It made sense, to a three year old who was missing his best friend, that Golly would turn up at Aunty Betty’s, she lived the closest to the Market, by co-incidence (a co-incidence I didn’t know existed at the time) Aunty Betty was also a good knitter.
To this day, nearly forty years on, Golly still sits on my bed, we never talk about his little trip and what he did in those three days and he’s never disappeared again. Not only that there is two similar Golly’s, neither of which get out of the car if they go on trips, sitting in the same place on my daughters beds.