You touched my heart you touched my soul, you changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when my heart was blinded by you.
I've kissed your lips and held your head, shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell, I've been addicted to you.
Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend.
You have been the one, you have been the one for me.
~James Blunt, Goodbye My Lover
From his place on the bed, Woody calls her name softly. It takes three of his usual low whispers to rouse the porcelain doll out of her trance. When she does come back to reality, he gets up from his place next to Andy under the bed sheets, climbing onto the nightstand. He notices immediately that her usually vibrant blue eyes are tinged with sadness.
"Is everything okay?" He says, and she nods, but he doesn't believe her. He's seen the sad look in her eyes before, and he knows something's wrong. "C'mon Bo. You know you can talk to me, right?"
"It's nothing really, Woody. I was thinking about the day you saved my flock."
He recalls this memory from over a decade ago, when the two children used to share a room. Bo first arrived in the playroom on the lamp Mrs Davies had originally brought for Molly. When they moved and Molly got her own room, somehow Andy managed to hang onto the porcelain lamp.
"What's brought this on, Bo?" Woody questions.
She sighs, "Andy's getting rid of his childhood toys slowly."
"But you're still here."
"Not for much longer. I've worked it out."
"What are you on about, Bo?" Woody asks softly, his face twisted in confusion. "Andy loves all his toys."
"Right. All his toys. Technically, I'm not a toy," she points out.
"But he plays with you as if you were."
"Only because he needs a damsel in distress. When he grows up, I'll be gone, Woody. He won't have any use for me within his room. He'll get a new lamp, and I'll be ditched in favour of something more modern."
"But he could give you to Molly."
She shakes her head. "No. I think she's made it pretty clear I don't belong in her room. I'm gone the minute Andy turns into an adolescent."
"You don't know that."
"Really? You're his favourite toy, Woody. So is Buzz. Jessie, sure, she's a girl doll, but she's a rough and tumble tomboy at heart. Bullseye will stay ultimately because of you and Jessie."
"Hamm's a china piggybank for goodness sake. He'll always have a place on the desk. The Potatoheads...I don't know about, but can you see Andy getting rid of Mrs Potatohead without Molly kicking up a stink about it? They'll be kept together."
"Rex is a typical boy's toy; he won't be discarded as easy. Slinky is the force field dog, and a cool toy that no child could grow out of. He practically has an unlimited life being the way he is. And the aliens..., Andy has a penchant for space related toys, you remember how he was when he first got Buzz."
Woody is silent for a moment. It does make sense, and he wishes it didn't. "So you're saying..." he began, and she nods.
"I wouldn't be surprised if I don't have more than a few weeks left in this room, Woody."
He's shocked. "But Bo...I mean, how can...I don't..." He feels her place her crook around his neck.
"We don't have much time, Woody. So quit your stammering," she murmurs, pulling him close.
He coughs. "I don't know how I'll manage without you, Bo. You've been the one I can rely on to snap me out of a deep blue funk, you know."
"Shh, sheriff," she whispers, leaning in dangerously close. "Let's not think any more morbid thoughts." She allows her lips to rest a whisker away from his as she adds, "Maybe we should make some memories, instead."
It's some time before they leave the nightstand for the privacy of the dresser draw, which is usually left open because it won't shut all the way. Mrs Davies always said the side slider had buckled, and always planned to fix it, but she never did. Now the cowboy and the shepherdess use it to their advantage, as they climb inside, finding a spot on a pile of folded shirts.
Bo settles against Woody as his mouth finds hers for what must be the hundredth time that night. "Mmm, cowboy," she murmurs, just before their lips meet. He pulls away, taking off his hat, placing it to one side, before lowering his lips over her face and down towards her neck, sucking softly just to the left as she moans.
"Wow, cowboy, you're good at this," she whispers, and he takes it as a compliment, lifting her into his lap. She tugs at his belt, feeling his hands begin to roam as he murmurs in her ear.
"Are you sure?" she hears him say, and she presses herself up to him.
"Less talk, more action, cowboy," she purrs, removing her bonnet and putting it down next to where they're seated. Pulling up her voluminous skirts, he feels for her leg, and on finding it allows his hand to graze briefly over her thigh. He hears her sigh as she wraps her arms around his neck, and he continues to let his hand brush over her in this way as they continue to kiss. She straddles him more now, and he moves his hand from her leg to pull at her corset, loosening it, allowing his hands to touch her chest. He hears her gasp, and feels her hands tug at his belt again, but this time she's undoing it.
"Bo," he moans, knowing what way this is going for sure now. Her body is cool under his touch, the fabric of her dress soft against his legs. As she hikes up the skirts to give him better access, he can feel himself going crazy with want and need. She presses to him again, and he can feel her urgency rising too.
His cheeks are glowing with the thought of what they're about to do, as she reaches round to undo the scarf on his neck, pulling it off and throwing it carelessly to one side. Her mouth meets his again in another passionate kiss as he feels his instincts kick in, rolling her over onto her back. Nestled in amongst the folded laundry in the draw, they make love gently, the only sound being her gasps of pleasure, and his voice calling her name towards the end.
It's been nearly a year since she left via the donations box Mrs Davies came into the room with. Every time he looks across at the dresser he feels the pang of loneliness rise up inside of him, and even more so when he glances at the nightstand and sees the red shaded, beige lamp that sits in her place.
He remembers the evening the year before so well. Afterwards, they'd laid in each other's arms, not speaking, instead content to just spend time in each other's company. He'd stroked her cheek and held her close for hours on end, and just as dawn broke into the room, he'd helped her out of the draw and accompanied her back to the nightstand. They'd sat by the lamp plinth until Woody heard Andy stir, and then placed a chaste kiss on the blonde's cheek. He departed her side to slip back under the covers, and she stepped back up onto the lamp base and froze in place.
The next few weeks leading up to Andy's thirteenth birthday filled him with dread. Every waking moment when Andy wasn't present in the room, he'd spend with Bo. They spent many hours, hand in hand, talking about when they'd first met; their memories and their dreams about the other.
Woody realised in those hours, as he does now, that when Bo Peep walked into his life over a decade ago, she inadvertently touched his heart in no way he'd ever known before. She liked him when he looked strong, yet made him feel weak at the knees when she touched his newly re-stitched bicep after Andy fixed him. She changed him, made him want to be the toy he was originally designed to be, a sheriff, a guardian of the room, and of her.
Now, as he sits on the windowsill, looking out into the street below, he remembers the vague memory of climbing onto the sill after Mrs Davies took the lamp out of the room. He watched the box with Bo and her sheep in it depart down the drive and turn the corner out of sight. He remained on the sill for an hour or more, waited with the bile rising in his throat. He saw Mrs Davies return, get out of the car, and walk up the drive with a box under her arm. He ran back to the bed and froze in place, trying to stomach the sick feeling still.
Within moments Mrs Davies walked into the room, laid the box on the bed, and pulled out the brand new modern lamp, setting it on the nightstand. "There. Much more grown up," he heard her say.
Only after she closed the door, did the grief overwhelm and hit him.
She was gone. And she wasn't coming back ever again.