I was dragged on stage, in front of sixty-four million people, watching, glaring at me, waiting for me to start. The first move I made was a random jerk of my arm in the air, then a similar move with my other arm. Next thing I knew, I was doing the running man and couldn’t stop.

My mouth began to open, while tears of sweat rolled off my forehead. I started to sing whilst I was flailing about, absolutely terrified. I had never rehearsed this; I had never practised my moves. It was done so casually but deep down, I was working hard. I was working very hard to impress the people in front of me. Constantly looking into the audience, looking for a reaction. Panicking, when all I could see were blank faces staring at me.

I just wanted to end this humiliation, but I physically couldn’t, I just kept on going. I tried to stop, really I did! But it was impossible; I was out of my own control. As I looked towards the left wing, I could spot a very thin thread at the corner of my eye. Confused, (and scared), I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. The thread was leading to my arm and it was somehow attached to it. I looked to my right and saw the exact same thing.

What was going on? Were my clothes ripping apart? Oh no! The one thing that would make this situation more mortifying would be if I stripped in front of these people! The mockery… the judgement… the jokes! I will be a laughing stock!

But it’s OK, I can’t be stripping, because the lines of thread looked as though they were coming through my arms?!

I tried to pull them off, but it felt excruciatingly painful. The audience began to laugh… they were laughing at my pain. I went bright red and the tears of sweat ran faster and faster down my forehead and down my cheeks. No, they weren’t tears of sweat on my cheeks, they were just tears.

Suddenly I felt myself falling to the ground, with my arms and legs giving way. I tried to pick myself up, but I couldn’t find the strength. I called for help, but everyone started to leave, with disappointed looks on their faces. That was it. The end of the show, the show I never even planned or rehearsed for.

As I woke up from being knocked out, I realised that somebody was controlling everything I was doing. None of it was me. Had I been tricked? Hypnotised? Brainwashed into doing all of those things? Will I ever get to do the things that I choose to do? Follow my own dreams? Live my own life? Or am I put on this Earth to please others? Be a clone of someone else?

Although I was mentally forcing myself to stop dancing or to pick myself up when I fell down, I couldn’t physically do the things I wanted to do. How will I be the person I want to become, if I cannot physically stop what I am doing?

I had hit rock bottom. Or wooden bottom in my case. There was no going back now. It all happened and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I tried and failed. Even my puppeteer had left, he humiliated me and mocked me, then left. He could go out into the world with his head held high. He has ambitions, dreams, a life to continue living… he doesn’t need me but I need him.

It’s so hard to be needed by the one person who doesn’t need you. It’s agony when you are left all alone in the world waiting for something that will never make an appearance.

It’s difficult when you are trying so hard to stand up, dust yourself off and move on, when you can’t even take the first step. Or in my case, not have a clue how to take the first step. Literally.

Waiting for someone to help me was like waiting for the bus, when you find out the last one already left. It was endless.

Suddenly I heard footsteps approaching the stage. At last! Someone is here to take me away! I tried turning my head towards the back of the stage to see who it was.

I could vaguely make out a shadow in the dark, gloomy stage wing.

“I’m on my way dear! Just give me a few minutes! Molly dropped her doll, I need to find it! Yes, yes I’m coming! But if she cries the whole night, you’ll be the one to make her stop! Don’t you come crying to me, because I won’t listen!” I then heard the footsteps fading away until there was silence again.

I sighed. Then dropped off to sleep for what seemed like three hours.

Before I knew what was happening, I was being dragged up and down the stage viciously. I assumed I was being attacked. Then I remembered I was a puppet. That’s the positive thing about being an inanimate object… you don’t always get hurt. Physically anyway. I suddenly felt my body being scooped into a duster.

It was a cleaner, cleaning up the theatre. I sighed again. But this time I was getting fed up. Can’t he see that I’m here? Is he really that blind?

Next thing I knew, I was being thrown towards one of the wings, left in the dark. Again. I heard the cleaner stomp his way off the stage and walk out the back door. Well, I may as well have another nap, since there is no way I’m getting out of here any time soon. Sigh.

And I was right. It must have been 48 hours the next time someone came to the theatre to rescue me. To my delight, it was a little four-year-old girl. She picked me up and gave me the biggest cuddle, clinging on to me for at least a minute. She started laughing and wiped drops of water off her arm. It was not water… they were my tears. Not tears of sadness or of loneliness, but tears of happiness and positive emotion. Something I hadn’t felt in years. Love.

I have finally found someone that gives me the strength and power to be whoever I want to be. Someone that is happiest when I am myself, instead of having to control everything I do.

And I will never let her go. I will cling on to her forever. I will protect her and be there for her whenever she needs me, because she gave me the courage to stand up for myself. Pun intended… (oh, hey, my sense of humour is back!)

Nobody should take for granted, the people who are there for them everyday. What if they leave?

“Molly, come on sweetheart. Is that a doll in your hand? Alright, take it with you. Let’s go home.”

[Molly smiles]


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