I Promised My Dolls
I don't know how old I was. Maybe seventeen, but young for my age. I still cared about playing with my dolls.
It all began before the roots of memory, with my sister and brother and I playing make-believe. Then came friends, and with them saddled bikes and back yard harems made with towels. But most of all creating worlds of fantasy with Barbies.
By the time I reached high school 'the game', as I called it, belonged mostly to me and my best friend, Kathy Perrault. We didn't use the dolls much by then. We invented on paper, and role played. It was all I ever really wanted to do. I was good at school, and enjoyed life as a member of my family, but my passion was for 'the game'.
Kathy grew up before me. We remained friends, but slowly it became all too painfully clear she was not interested in make believe romance so much as the real thing, and world saving wasn't as interesting as plans for a life and a career.
That was my first heartbreak. Being young, I over estimated its importance to the universe. I mourned. I grieved. Afraid to seek solace from others because who but Kathy knew what we'd had, and she had tired of 'the game'. There was no remedy.
I remember struggling to play alone and feeling that if I stopped, all the brave and dear adventures would be over. All the people we had loved would wink out. I gathered the dolls we'd dressed and given personalities into my arms, and swore to them, and to myself, an oath. I would not see them die. I could not.
It seems ridiculous now. And I am not sure that the slow bloomer I was, then, would recognize in the Okal Rel Universe the survival of her childhood passion. It is not 'the game' now, it's 'the saga' and instead of a playmate I have a co-author, and publisher. But looking back, I think I can honestly tell my younger self that I honored the spirit of her promise. The people and the stories have evolved. Grown up. But they still touch the same place in my heart and mind.
If they touch the hearts of readers, then they will, indeed, never die. They will live on in what evolves from that.