I am back. I know, I missed last week and I am terribly sorry. But I may just have two stories for you this week…if I can make it to two. If not this week…you will have two stories in one week to make up for the one I missed. Don’t worry, we still have time.
So here you go! The first prompt challenge for this month!
This is every imaginary friend’s biggest fear, the day your kid starts getting too old for you. I started feeling it when my kid was 10. The kids at school were picking on her for talking to me while in school. My kid, her name is Maggie, and she was a beautiful child. She was also a bullied child. I was her only friend…I am her only friend. She talks to me at lunch, during recess, and at the end of the day while waiting for her mother to pick her up. It’s not that she is starting to forget me, she is just falling to the pressure of being bullied. I keep telling her she doesn’t have to talk to me, but even she can feel me slipping away, no matter how hard she tries to hold on, I will slip away from her.
I honestly fear for her, for what she will do when I am gone. It is the life of an imaginary friend. We don’t last long, were are not meant to last forever. One day we will be gone. A child can remember us for the rest of their life, but we cannot be there for them like we once were. We are invisible to them. Some imaginary friends will stick around and watch over their child, but most of us decide it is just too sad and we fade away completely.
I don’t want to leave Maggie, and she doesn’t want to leave me. I have looked through the books, trying to find a way to stay with her a little longer. The day that she turns 16 I will no longer be visible to her. I keep trying to coach her, make her more acceptable to the public. I know, it’s stupid to change such a unique and wonderful soul like her, but I need to know that she will be okay. I need to know that she will have at least one friend before I disappear from her life. Maggie is avoiding all of my lessons. She doesn’t want to change, and that is one of the reasons why I love her so much. Even knowing that her peers will torture her with words, she will not change who she is.
I can also feel the darkness creeping into her mind. The darkness that takes some kids, it turns them into useless shells of depression. Some of those kids will turn into killers, others will just end their own life. I fear that my Maggie will be one of those that will forfeit her own life to get away from all the negative in her life. Not even her home life is a place that she can go.
There is only one place she is safe from the world, from school, from her verbally abusive parents. A spot in the forest where we have played since Maggie was five. Her parents let her do what she wanted from an early age, simply so they didn’t have to pay any attention to her. I don’t think they even noticed that she spoke to invisible beings.
Maggie and I, our story is a little different. I have grown with her. I have had the knowledge of an imaginary friend, but I have always been the same age as Maggie. It made it easier on her to deal with life. She would try to tell her parents about the boy that played with her in the woods. They didn’t care and she grew a stronger bond with me.
I knew there had to be something I could do for Maggie, something I could do to save her from the loneliness and darkness that would take over her life when I disappeared. Then one day, I found it. I figured out how I could stay in her life. A way to make me a part of her life for as long as she wanted me. It wasn’t a simple process. It wasn’t even all that logical, but what part of imaginary friend is logical? So, I did what I was told.
I left after Maggie fell asleep. I went into the woods, our special place, her sanctuary. I had to be there when the moon was at the highest point in the sky. It was at that very moment that the fairy showed himself to me. The fairy king, the only creature that could help me achieve what I needed for Maggie.
“Make me a real boy.” I told the fairy king. We both laughed and the king kept his smile. He was not like the evil fairy kings the stories write about. He was kind and fair, and he knew my love for Maggie, the girl I had been created for. I felt the blood start rushing through my veins and my heart started to beat. I could feel the pressure of my body weight on my feet and I could feel the cold of the night. I was a real boy, a person. I had done what I needed to do for my Maggie. She would never be alone. And now that I was real, I could feel that I didn’t just love her in a friendly way. It was more than that. Her kindness, warmth, and strength to stay who she was. She would never be lonely again.
I ran back to her house, making it there just in time for Maggie to be walking out the front door to go to school. I didn’t see her come out the door, so I knocked. I was met by Maggie’s mother. Her face was tear stained and her eyes were red. “Is Maggie available?” I asked, fear crept into my throat. “I’m Jack.” I said, waiting for her mother to call Maggie. Her eyes grew wide and she covered her mouth.
“You are real?” She asked me. I stood shocked. “Maggie left a note for you. I thought Jack was the name of her imaginary friend.” I didn’t get a chance to say anything before the mother disappeared into the door. She came back a few minutes later and handed me an envelope with my name on it. “You should leave before the ambulance gets here. I don’t want you in the way.
I walked away and opened the envelope.
My Dearest Jack,
I have loved you for so long. I awoke this morning and called for you. But you didn’t come like you always did. You were not there. Unless you are. Are you watching me write this right now? Did something happen and I lost the ability to see you a little sooner than I thought? That is what I assumed happened. I can’t take this world without you. You are my only friend. No one likes me like you. No one understands me. I can’t do this without you. I thought that maybe I could be with you if I left my body. I don’t know if it will work, but I had to try. If it works, I will see you on the other side. If not, this is my goodbye to you. You have been so kind to me, so loving and understanding. No one will ever be as wonderful as you.
I stared at the letter, not believing what I had read. I watched from across the street as the ambulance rolled out a gurney with a white sheet draped over a still body. I didn’t need be closer to know who it was. The hand that fell from the sheet had chipped green nails, her favorite color, and a gold ring that I had found for her.
The girl I had been created for, the girl I had changed for, the girl I loved was gone because I had left her. I should have told her what I was doing, but I wanted to surprise her. Life had been so hard for her, and I was going to make someone pay…starting with her parents. The paramedics would be making another trip to this house; no one was going to get away with this. I could feel the darkness slip into me and take over. I wanted it to take over, I let it take over. The darkness was now my best friend.
I hope you liked it. Let me know what you thought in the comments.