It was Christmas morning and the first holiday I shared with a live-in boyfriend. Instead of being excited about my relationship, the fact that he didn't get me anything for Christmas made me a bit leery of our future. But I pushed my suspicions aside, at least until Bobby opened his mystery present from his mom. I couldn’t wait to finally find out what was inside.
“What do you think this is?” I shook it.
“Don’t break it,” Bobby grabbed the package out of my hand and carefully started to open it, making sure to fold the wrapping paper and ribbon for safe keeping. I thought it was weird that a guy would do that.
"Hurry," I said. He answered me with a nasty look and moved even slower. Finally, the wrapping paper was off. Inside was a black case that sort of looked like it might hold a miniature guitar or some other musical instrument. Bobby looked at me and raised his eyebrows.
“What is it?” I probed. He unlatched the case and opened it slowly. Starring up at him was the face of a wooden doll. It had a monocle, blonde hair under a top hat with brown eyes and dusty black plastic eyelashes that opened and closed. As he carefully lifted the doll out of the case, its mouth fell open, the red painted lips surrounded a square hallow empty vessel. Bobby was holding a ventriloquist dummy. I laughed so hard! I couldn’t help myself. He slowly took his eyes off the doll, turned and looked directly at me. In that instant, I realized the dummy resembled Bobby.
“What’s so funny,” a hint of a sinister edge was in Bobby's voice. I shut up immediately.
“I wanted a dummy just like this ever since I was a kid,” he said to the doll as he held it up in front of him. He was so careful, treating the dummy as if it was a real boy, eyeing it from all angles.
Blondie came over to give the dummy a sniff and he pushed her away. I grabbed her and held her close. It was not okay for him to shove my dog but I kept my mouth shut as he made the dummy's mouth move.