(Note From Treesa: This is a continuation of the previous post. Alice's draft was way too long, so I broke it up.
The next time I went to see Joy she talked a little about her past life. I found out Treesa is Joy's second owner, and that Joy didn't always have such an easy time going with the flow. She told me it wasn't until after Treesa bought her that she'd realized she'd be a lot happier if she focused on all the good things about her life, instead of carrying around grudges for things that happened in the past.
Then Joy asked me to tell her more about my life. I'd already told her, when we first met, that Treesa bought me at the thrift store. And she knew I'd been friends with Wedding Bells and Wedward. So I told her a little about my old family. I told her how much I missed everybody. I told her how Esme had been like a mom to most of us. That's how she got the nickname Esmom. I even told her a little about Jazzy Jazz, how he was always goofing around and trying to make the rest of us laugh. I didn't mention that I'd been in love with Jazzy Jazz. I didn't really want to talk about it, and I thought Joy must've already heard about it from Jasper. I did tell Joy how Jane and Victoria had actually been really nice, even though their characters are villains in the Twilight series.
"What's Twilight about anyway?" Joy asked. "I know it has vampires in it, but that's about all I know." I was a little surprised Jasper hadn't already filled Joy in on the storyline, but I didn't say that out loud. I thought maybe Jasper had a reason for not sharing more about Twilight with Joy. Maybe he was like Lois and wanted his own identity. Maybe he wanted other dolls to see him as himself, and not the character he was made to look like. Though if you ask me Jasper is a lot more like the Jasper in the books/movies than Jazzy Jazz was.
I knew it would take a while to go over the whole Twilight saga with Joy, so I warned her, "It's kind of a long story." Then I started summing up the plot of the first book. I left out the part about my character and Jasper's character being a couple. I didn't really want to talk about that either, and it was easy to skip that part because the book mostly focuses on Bella and Edward's relationship. I did mention Alice's power to see the future, and Jasper's empathic 'gift', when I told Joy about Edward's mind reading skills. When I finished I told Joy, "And that's just the first book."
At first Joy didn't say anything. She looked like she was thinking something over. Then she said, "I guess I just don't get it."
"What don't you get?" I asked. I thought there must've been something in the plot she didn't understand and needed me to explain better. "I don't get why this was such a big thing," Joy said. "Maybe if I actually read it I would. Or maybe it's a human thing."
That's when Jasper came around the corner. "Joy, I was wondering if...", but he didn't finish the sentence. He sort of froze when he saw me. Then he got this look on his face like he was going to turn around and leave again. I felt bad knowing that me being there was driving him away. After all he hadn't known I was there. He probably just wanted to spend some time with his sister. I wanted him to know he didn't have to leave just because I was hanging out with Joy. So before he could disappear I asked, "What do you think of Twilight, Jasper?"
Jasper didn't answer right away. When he did he said, "To be honest I don't know that much about it, only what was printed on my box." Then he gave this short, dramatic monologue about a 'modern day vampire love story'. I was a little confused, until I realized he must be quoting whatever was printed on his box.
When he finished Joy tapped her fingers against her palm and said "Bravo" in a snooty voice. I guess she was trying to imitate the applause of a cultured theater goer. Jasper bowed, but it looked like he was trying not to laugh. So he did have a sense of humor after all.
I was sort of stunned that Jasper could remember a whole paragraph word for word like that. "You memorized all that?" I asked. Jasper shrugged. "I was in the back row at the toy store," he said. "I spent weeks staring at the back of the box of the Jasper doll in front of me."
"Couldn't you talk to any of the dolls next to you?" I asked. Jasper looked sort of embarrassed and said, "I was never much of a conversationalist. I never know how to begin." For a minute I didn't know what to say. I knew for a fact I wouldn't have been able to take that kind of isolation. Just thinking about going through what Jasper had at the store made me upset. "That sounds awful!" I told him. "I was in the second row, but the Alice dolls were selling so fast that I moved to the front pretty quick. I can't even imagine being stuck all the way in the back for weeks!" I didn't realize how upset I sounded until Jasper tried to calm me down. "It's alright Alice," he said. "It was a long time ago."
That's when things got weird. I started feeling sort of guilty. I'd asked Jasper three questions at the most, but somehow I'd managed to dredge up what were probably some of his most painful memories. I hadn't meant to, but that wasn't the point. Because of me Jasper had had to relive his time at the store. I felt like he should've been mad at me for bringing it up, but he wasn't. Instead he was trying to comfort me. I felt like I didn't deserve it. I felt like I should be comforting him, not the other way around.
I realized I was about two seconds away from putting my hand on Jasper's arm and telling him it would be ok. He probably would've taken that the wrong way. Luckily I managed to get a hold of myself before I did anything stupid. "I have to go," I said. Then I turned to Joy and said, "It was nice talking to you again."
"Stop by any time," Joy said. Maybe next time you can tell me what happens in the second book." I nodded, told Joy, "I'll see you later," and left. For the next few days I sort of kept to myself, trying to figure things out. I couldn't understand why I'd reacted the way I had. It was one thing to feel sorry for Jasper, but it was something completely different to actually want to do something about it and make it all better. Thinking over what had happened I realized that in that moment I'd finally started to see who Jasper really was. Before then, when I'd thought about Jasper, I'd always compared him to either Jazzy Jazz or the character from the books/movies. I realized now that that wasn't really fair to Jasper. It wasn't fair to compare Jasper to a made-up character or to another doll I'd known who looked like him because Jasper would never be either of those things. All he could be was himself, and I was finally starting to see that. What I saw was a doll who could be funny in his own way, a doll who was quiet not because he didn't want to share but because he didn't know how.
I can't really explain why I went back to see Joy again. Maybe I just wanted someone to talk to. Or maybe I wanted to hang out with Joy because I thought she already knew how I'd felt about Jazzy Jazz, but was tactful enough not to bring it up. Like I said before, back then I thought Jasper must've already told Joy about my past. It'd be a few more months before I found out he hadn't.
I went over the plots of the other Twilight books with Joy, and we talked about them a little. Jasper was around for some of these discussions. When he wasn't Joy would fill him in on anything he'd missed. Joy joked that it was like being in a book club where only one person had read the book.
Jasper really seemed interested in the story though, like he wanted to find out as much about Twilight as he could. I know Jasper's a Twilight doll, but still he seemed more obsessive about the details of the books than I ever was. I actually said something about it at one of our 'book club meetings', as Joy called them. I tried to make it sound like a joke so Jasper wouldn't get offended. Then Jasper told me, "You have to know where you came from before you can know where you're going." I'm still not sure what Jasper meant, but it did make me think.
So I guess that's about it. I thought this post would be a little rambling, but I didn't know it would turn out this long. And I still feel just as mixed-up as I did when I started. Maybe I need to take a break and stop thinking so much. That might help.