The doll's eyes shone with menace before it laughed wickedly, baring its pointy teeth.
I was only six years old and watching a horror movie on TV, but the possessed doll on the screen caught my attention immediately.
I need to have one, I thought.
As I kept watching more scary movies with dolls that came to life, my obsession grew to the point it was all I could think of.
So when my 13th birthday approached, I started researching them online and found a 4ft-tall doll with short black hair whose eyes were sealed closed, and half her jaw was missing, leaving faux flesh exposed.
Her name was Kelly, and I knew she was the one for me.
"Are you sure?" my dad asked.
Most girls had gotten over playing with dolls by their teens, but Kelly wasn't exactly your typical Barbie.
I'd never felt so sure of anything in my life: her creepy appearance was exactly what I wanted in my life.
I'd never need to watch another horror film again!
Once he realised how important this would be to me, Dad agreed to pay the $570.
Kelly's arrival brought so much joy to my life. I'd always been lonely and struggled to make friends.
But when I held her hand and took Kelly outside to play, onlookers stared at us with disgust.
"You're sick!" people spat, seeing Kelly as a little girl and presuming I was attracted to kids.
But I'd only ever imagined Kelly as an adult, even though she was small.
Over the years I went on to have a few boyfriends but there was no spark between us and I felt nothing when we kissed.
But one night I looked at Kelly, who was sitting on my bed, and felt a sudden urge of attraction.
Before I knew it, I leapt up and smooched her passionately on the lips.
"I love you," I cooed.
I felt certain Kelly was telling me that she felt the same.
I wondered if it was normal to feel this way, but after searching the internet I came across a heap of people who loved their dolls, along with people diagnosed with objectophilia where they fell in love with inanimate objects: cars, clocks … even cash registers!
But to me, Kelly was real and by the time I was 19, I was convinced there was no one else I wanted to share my life with.
"Will you marry me?" I asked her.
Kelly couldn't speak, but I could tell what she was thinking and, to my relief, she agreed.
Slipping into a wedding dress, I felt beautiful while Kelly adorned a suit and seemed even more stunning than usual.
The two of us exchanged vows in my grandfather's garden in front of my family who were all very supportive.
"I'll love you forever" I told my wife adoringly.
We've been married for eight months and are truly happy together.
My doll Kelly might look like a demon, but to me she's an angel and I couldn't imagine life without her.
- PuzzlesThe Australian Women's Weekly June Issue Online Entry
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