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Your hand just missed me

By Judey Kalchik Published 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 3 min read
Runner-Up in Misplaced Challenge

Your hand just missed me.

I thought you'd keep coming as you thumbed your way across the titles on your bookshelves. From the edge of the pages I could see you pausing at your favorite story (The Stand, of course it would be The Stand), and then grabbing up the Thesaurus and Dictionary to send to the thrift store.

I just knew you'd grab your yearbook and toss it in the box. But no; you filled the packing box with Jean Auel and Harry Potter, and those are some monster books. There wasn't room to toss me in there, too. So, spared again- I live another day here on the top shelf.


It was another close call when you decided you were downsizing your clothes. I was wrapped around the padding on the Members Only jacket's hanger and I saw so many old favorites disappear into the donation bags. There were too many suits to count (ok. I counted: 16), those horrible 80's crazy zigzag sweaters, and those round collared shirts that did nothing at all for your figure.

Gone, all gone. Except the Members Only jacket. I remembered when Dave gave you his jacket. That day when you cut class together; do you remember that? You walked through the park and down a path close to the creek and kissed. Boy, did you kiss! Those first kisses, do you remember them? I'll always treasure them and I guess there was something that helped you skip over the jacket and leave it a little longer at the back of the closet.


What has gotten into you? Now it's the papers that you're after? Some of those drawers haven't been disturbed for years- not since you emptied out the boxes from your Mom's home and shut the drawer.

Look! No- wait; you're shuffling too fast! I wish you'd slow down so I can see better. There's your Gramma, in the kitchen as usual. She could make an entire dinner out of $5, couldn't she? And there's Bailey! That dog would sleep at the bottom of the bed and hog all the blankets. He farted, too. But I loved him like I've never loved a dog since. You don't forget your first dog.

You aren't going to throw away the birthday card from your father, are you? It's the last thing he ever sent to you and... whew. Okay, it's back in the drawer. I wasn't sure. It's hard to see through watery eyes. I'm glad that made the cut again.

What were you looking for in there, anyway? That old report card? That prom photo? It would help if you said it out loud instead of keeping it in.


It feels like just yesterday that we faced each other this way every morning. Eyes locked while you brushed your teeth. Me trying to reassure you that those lines were just laugh lines and nothing to fear, those white strands were proof that you'd been places and seen things.

But this lingering... this feels different from your daily inspections, and when you peer forward so intently I... think you can actually see me. Can hear me. Is it true? Are you looking for me again, Barbara?

I think, no. Just for a moment I thought you'd talk to me again like you did when we were younger. That I would once again know the thrill of connection. Of being seen.

I'm patient, though. I am sure that my time will come around again. It always does. I've been here before with others, and when the end comes, they all see me.

They all remember their misplaced imaginary friend, and we lock hands once more as I lead them home.

Short Story

About the Creator

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

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Comments (19)

  • Ameer Bibi3 months ago

    I did not read all, but it should be among the winners. I also could not forget our first dog. And your story reminding me about his shining eyes with love and care. He is no more 😭.

  • sleepy drafts5 months ago

    Congratulations, Judey!!! I loved this take on the challenge and the perspective of a misplaced imaginary friend reflecting over the course of a lifetime. The way you moved us on a journey through the narrator's "human's" life using the act of decluttering as a vehicle for reflection is masterfully done, both clever and real. This is beautifully executed. Huge congratulations!

  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    You kept me guessing and I LOVED the ending. Congrats on placing, Judey!

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Congratulations on the runner up win!!!♥️♥️💕

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Congrats 👏

  • Yayyyyy this is awesomeeee! Congratulations on your win! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Kenny Penn5 months ago

    Awww Judey I loved the ending! Such a beautiful story, congrats on yet another placement!

  • JBaz5 months ago

    Judey I am so glad this piece got recognition Congratulations

  • Mariann Carroll5 months ago

    Congratulations Judey ⭐️🏆🥳

  • Joe O’Connor5 months ago

    Beautifully written! This reminds me a bit of Bing-Bong in Inside Out🥹. “They all remember their misplaced imaginary friend, and we lock hands once more as I lead them home” is such a great way to to end this. Nicely done! Good luck in the challenge:)

  • Kelsey Clarey5 months ago

    I spent so much of this trying to figure out where this was going and then end just hit me right in the heart!

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    Oh, the imaginary friend. We usually outgrow them, so good luck Imagination. Ah, life and destinations.

  • Heather Zieffle 5 months ago

    Great story Judey! Loved the ending!

  • To be reunited once what was imaginary becomes all that is real again.

  • JBaz5 months ago

    You got me, I could ‘t figure this out until your wonderful ending. So good Editor note: ‘It feel like just yesterday‘

  • Great read… I love mysteries! near the end I decided you were the mirror 🤣… wrong again!

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Beautiful story. U like how you were able to keep the "item" a surprise right to the end. Well done.

  • Oneg In The Arctic5 months ago

    This read so sweet, and I loved how this was narrated. So many memories- do we keep them or toss them to make room for more..

  • Shirley Belk5 months ago

    Beautiful!!!! loved this

Judey Kalchik Written by Judey Kalchik

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