Confessions of an Imaginery Friend

A Story by Dana Shalabi

Note to the Reader,

Because I am a person who likes to give credit where credit is due, the idea of this story is not the product of my original thoughts. For a long time, I  was suffering from a severe case of writer’s block, coupled with a need to write . For me, writing is a good way to put my mind at ease. At a total loss for ideas, I went to one of those writing prompt sites and I randomly picked a  prompt that said “You are a child’s imaginary friend……write about it”. Something about this prompt intrigued me, as it was so out of character from the things I usually write about. I got writing, and this is what I came up with. I  must say the experience was fun. I didn’t expect to get that into it.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Part One-The Good Days

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I used to know everything about her, which was expected since we were inseparable. Even if she ignored me for her friends, I knew that I had a central role in her life. I slept at the same time she slept, and I woke at the same time she woke. We had a bond like no other, after all I was always there because she wanted me to be. I think that comes with the nature of our relationship, we were one.

I used to sit quietly and watch her eat cookies. Usually those were cookies she had stolen from the cookie jar. Sometimes I ate with her. She was chubby and I was as thin as she dreamt of being.  I was everything she wanted me to be and everything she couldn’t be. She even picked my name out for me, she called me Marlin. She loved my long blonde braids, which she never let me cut. After all, she had short hair. Her mother felt it was easier to manage. She liked my freckles and the frilly purple dress she made me wear every day. She made me wear purple because her favorite color was purple.  I guess, I was there to be everything and everyone she was missing in her life.

There were times we used to talk to the fairies, and times we would snap our magic shoes that flew us into the clouds. The shoes were so magic that only we saw them. We slid across the rainbow on purple unicorns. We flew with our magic shoes to a land where the houses the trees, the grass, and the sky were shades of pink red and purple.   She wanted to go to these places and I didn’t object. She was my best friend, so I did everything she wanted to do.

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I understood her thoughts, her dreams, and her words like no other person. When her friends at school didn’t understand her, she would talk to me. She told me everything and I understood the true meaning behind every one of her words. When she cried because a girl made fun of her glasses, I told her to stop crying because she had magic glasses that made her see places no one else saw. When a boy in her class gave her a red rose, we both pretended he was prince charming, and when her teacher punished her for talking in class, we didn’t stand against the wall like she instructed her to. Instead, we rode in a glass elevator she built in her mind and we went up to  a land in the clouds where everything was made out of candy.

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We sometimes pretended we were grownups. We would wear high heels, put a handbag on our shoulder and take her dolls on a ride in her doll carnage across the garden. Of course the garden instantly transformed itself into a supermarket, a grocery store, or any other place the grownups went to. We would also have tea parties in her room. We would sit on the bed and pretend it was a sofa. We would sip invisible tea from the plastic tea cups, but I loved the taste of that tea. It was a world of make believe, I knew that all along, but still I loved our little world.

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She would sometimes sit me next to her barbies and talk to me as if I was one of them, and at other times I would play with her barbies with her. I was up for anything she wanted to do. She was my only friend, I depended on her for my very existence. I remember the time we transformed the carpet in her room into a magic carpet, and in her mind we flew to the spice markets of Arabia and the cave of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.

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No one knew about our friendship but that was ok. I knew she came from a world where invisible friends were not welcome. Of course I was not invisible to her, but I was to everyone else she knew. So, our friendship was our little secret, where we even developed a way of talking without moving our lips around others.

We were both five back then, but we both turned six on the same day. She had a purple birthday cake, and I was next to her blowing out the candles too. We opened the gifts she got from friends and family . I felt our excitement rise as we tore the papers, strings, and ribbons off new toys. She told me to pretend the gifts were only hers, but I was sure that we will play with them together. She shared with me all her toys. She was such a good kid.

The summer she turned six was also the summer learned how to swim. I enjoyed swimming with her. Whenever she was scared I pushed her into the pool, and so after only three swimming lessons, she was the perfect swimmer. From that point on, we  spent hours in the pool every day. It was a perfect summer. We learned how to ride a bike, and so we spent the hot summer days riding in the back streets near her home. Of course, we changed those streets into an enchanted forest, where we searched  for Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, and Repunsel . We learned how to jump using a jump rope, and so we jumped together while pretending that the rope was our magic doorway to the never land we heard about in a bedtime story her mother read to us  called called Peter Pan.   It was my favorite summer, but little did I know that it would be the last summer we will swim together, ride bikes together, jump rope together, or travel together on our magic adventures.

School opened in the fall, and things between us were never ever the same.


Part Two

It was six am when my best friend’s mother came into the room. She opened the curtains  allowing a gold ray of sunlight to shine on our faces. She was so excited about this day, in fact she was even more excited about it than her daughter. “Honey, wake up.” she said squeaking with joy, “Who is now a big girl in First Grade?” To this string of morning cheer, my friend  slowly awoke. It was then that I woke up too, as we wake up and go to sleep at the exact same time remember?

“Honey, wash your face and brush your teeth, then wear your uniform. I laid out for you  on the chair.” said the very happy mother as she pointed to the ugly gray skirt and blue shirt, we both hated so much. “Guess, what I made you for breakfast” she beamed. “What? ” asked my friend as she allowed the traces of lost sleep to  hang on every letter of the word. “I made you pancakes, my baby can’t go to school without a good breakfast,” said her mother . Then after planting a kiss on my friend’s cheek she instantly left the room.

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“Marlin are you there?” my friend whispered only after making sure that her mother was out of site. “I’m here” I said. ” Come with me to school” she said “It is a new school, a new class, and a new teacher. I don’t have friends there.” The panic in her voice, made me feel  needed. I knew I that had to be there for her big day. It was my role to be there and to guide her through all her insecurities. It was a role I was proud of, so I said,  “Don’t worry, I will be there.”. “Wait” she said, “You don’t have a uniform!” “I will go to the fairies and get a uniform from there.” I replied.  “Can I come? ” she asked. “No, you need to get ready for school.” I replied.

However,  my words didn’t matter too much to her, as she clapped her hands and we both flew into the sky. “We don’t have time” she said, “Take the uniform from the fairies , and let’s get ready for school.”

Of course,  we were back in time, because the concept of time could easily be changed depending on her definitions and her needs. We could spend one minute flying in the sky with fairies and rainbows all around us and it can seem like hours. In this case, her mother’s voice brought us back to her room. “Come on dear!, we don’t have time. Get out of bed” she said as she walked into the room. So, without waiting a moment more , we washed our faces, brushed our teeth, and we were dressed in the ugly school uniform. At the breakfast table, we played a little game where we pretended that the syrup we poured on the pancakes was in fact a magic potion that made my friend’s hair as long and as golden as mine.

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Then, we both sat in the back seat of her car and we drove to her school. Her mother held her hand as we climbed the stairs leading to her classroom. I stood behind her, wondering if I needed to go with her or not. She then turned her head and said, without moving her lips, “Are you coming with me?”. “Do you want me to?” I replied. “Yes, I do” she said.

So, together we walked to the classroom and I sat at a table with her and four other kids. In our first class, we learned each other’s names. Then, we drew. Later in the day, we went over the alphabet, which my friend already knew. We then played with cubes that had numbers on them . My friend knew the numbers too, so by then I was getting bored. I wanted for her to stop talking to the kids at her table and finally when she did I said, ” Let us leave this classroom and let us go play with the unicorns.”  She looked at me with irritation as she said, “Shhhhhhh, the teacher is talking. If she hears you, she will punish me, and if my new friends know about you , they won’t understand. They will think I’m talking to myself. Are you crazy?”

Now I know that my role is to be there for her, but I was in shock. This was the first time she ever told me to be quiet. I feel a bit silly telling you this but I resented her words “My new friends!” I thought to myself. She only knew them for a few hours and now she cares about their opinion?

Then, I worried . I even panicked . I didn’t want our friendship to end just yet. I knew it would eventually but I wasn’t ready for it to end today. Hearing her words, I did what any self respecting kid would do. I walked away. I went to the far corner of the room and I sat alone for the rest of the day.

During the break,  she played with her “New friends” and I watched her from afar as she rolled in the sand and she played tag. I looked at her as she played tea party with two girls from her class, and I couldn’t help but think that this was our game. Then, when the bell rang I was ready to leave. But, just as I was walking away, she looked behind her and called without moving her lips “Marlin, where are you ?”

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“She still needs me” I said to myself with relief, “I’m here. ” I said. “Come with me to class” she said, and I was left with no choice but to obey.  We pulled out our lunch boxes and ate, but she was too busy talking to her classmates to notice that I was playing the game of magic food by myself. In music class, I stayed silent as she sang with her classmates. To tell you the truth , I was bored. But, I had to stay. I cannot leave unless my time has come.

The day eventually ended, and drove home in her mother’s car. I listened to her all the way home, tell her mother about a new girl she met called Ruba. I felt that if I left she wouldn’t even notice. Then, just as I was about to give up her mother’s cell phone rang. Being the good citizen, she parked the car, and took the call.

As we sat in silence, I realized that the phone call was taking longer than expected. I wanted to ask my friend if she wanted to play but I did not want to be shooshed again.  Then just as I was about to give up, something amazing happened. My friend turned to me and said without moving her lips “Marlin, let’s go play with the unicorns.”

These seven little words made me feel needed. In fact they made my day.


Part Three

I can’t wait for the winter break. Three months into the school year and I have already changed my appearance three times. My friend cut my golden braids so that my hair looks more like her classmate’s. She even made me change out of my purple dress and into a red one, because she likes red now. On rainy days, she dresses me in a coat because everyone wears coats in winter and on warm days, she dresses me in sandals just like hers. I can’t remember when she started demanding that I look like everyone else. I miss the days when I used to be special. I miss being the friend  with magic shoes and a set of powers that no other kid has. Now, I am just normal and I have no choice but to obey. I am the imaginary friend so I have to be everything my friend imagines me to be.

I don’t go with her to school anymore. Instead, I wait at home alone on her bed in silence . We don’t play until she comes back. You see, I am now not needed in her school because there  is no room for me in her active school life. She has friends now and if I try to talk to her she hushes me. I feel she doesn’t want to talk to me in front of others anymore., She even forgets that I am there when she is around people.

The last time, I went with her to school I remember spending the whole day alone on the front steps of the building. I was only useful when she was called to the principal’s office for  talking in class. Of course she wasn’t talking to me, she was talking to her friend Rasha. That day, as she sat on the naughty chair, I sat next to her. I saw her cry for being punished . I made her forget her sorrows by taking her to happy land, a place far away where everything is bright yellow and everyone was in the shape of a yellow smiley face.  As we sat in the chair, we pretended that a bucket of yellow bubbles fell on the principle’s head. The bubbles then burst open only to fill  her hair with egg yolk and yellow sauce. We laughed about it so much, that the principle noticed . She was furious, so she  shouted at my friend for giggling during her detention.  That was the last time we ever went anywhere together.

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Even the games we play changed. We don’t go to the land of the fairies and we don’t play anymore with the unicorns. Instead, we pretend we are characters from Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins or any other cartoon she sees on TV. I once asked her if we can go fly with the birds across the Rainbow .  She looked at me with irritation as she said, “Marlin don’t be silly, people don’t fly to the rainbow. The gravity will make them fall”. I thought to myself  “Oh no, she learned about Gravity, now she understands that people don’t fly.” . But I still really wanted to go, so  I said to her “Let us pretend that we can fly.”, but she replied “Pretending is for babies.”

Hearing these words, I felt like someone had just cut through my heart with a knife. It hit me for the first time that this little girl was growing up. I realized that day that people change . I knew  that my time was almost up.

This is exactly what I hate about being an imaginary friend. Every time I get attached to a child I have to remind myself that sooner or later I will have to say goodbye.  You would think by now that I should have gotten used to such moments, but I haven’t . Goodbyes are always  sad.

My days are long . I spend the hours waiting in silence only hoping that one day , we will play together like the good old days. I miss the old soul and spirit of my friend. That is why I really want the school semester to finish, maybe then I can have my friend back.


Part Four

It Doesn’t Exist

Finally, school is out. The first semester is over and we have three weeks of fun ahead of us. We will play, we will laugh, and we will go to our special places. At least, that was what I thought when I saw my friend throw her school bag on her bedroom floor and change out of her uniform. The month was December, and she had decided to change my appearance again. This time, she dressed me in pair of jeans, a blue sweatshirt and she made me wear earrings. The earrings were important to her, she wanted earrings of her own but her mom said she was too young to get her ears pierced. As the imaginary friend I wore them diligently, as it was my job to be anything she wanted me to be.

As she walked into her room that day , I said “Let’s play.” she replied “No, I want to color.” I said, “Can I color with you?” She replied, “No you don’t know how to color. ” “But I used to color with you last year?” I said. Pondering over these words she replied “I want to color alone.” Then,  she walked out of the room with markers in hand and my tears on her conscience.

The next day I asked her if she wanted to play with the fairies, but she said to me “Fairies don’t exist.” These three little words felt like blades cutting into my skin. “Of course fairies exist.” I thought to myself. We have been playing with them all last year! “My friend Rasha told me they don’t exist. Anyway, fairies are for babies and I am not a baby. ” she said, as she instructed me to play school instead.

The next day she told me that Santa clause doesn’t exist and the day after that she told me that unicorns are not real. Later in the holiday she told me that she wants to play alone and finally she told me that she wanted to play real games about real people doing real things.

She was simply tearing apart any secret place we went to, and in place of magic,  she built a new world almost free of anything colorful, or even powerful. Her new world was about real people doing things that only real people would do. I played along , but to me the excitement, the spark and the adventure was all gone.

I waited in pain day after day for her to say the words I feared the most. You see,  I knew that sooner or later she would  say to me “Marlin you are not real, you don’t exist.” I knew that she would tell me that I was just the imaginary friend she created to play with when she was lonely.  I felt that  that day was coming soon. But for now, I wake up every morning hoping that we still have a little bit of time together.


Part -Five

My friend woke up one morning with a sore throat and a fever. So, she lay powerless in bed, as her mom spread a damp towel across her forehead . We all waited patiently for the doctor to arrive, and finally when  did, he  examined her chest, her throat, and her ears. I anxiously stood by her bed waiting for his verdict. Of course, no  one could see me, as I was the imaginary friend. But, if they could they would have been able to see just how worried I was. My friend looked up at the bed post where I was standing and I wondered for a second if she knew I was even there. But then she smiled and I knew from her smile that she could see me.

My fears were not completely unfounded, you see before she got sick she took to ignoring me completely. I would stay for days in her room just waiting for her to say something to me. I did consider leaving, after all, we Imaginary friends know that our time in the life of any child is limited. But, of course I couldn’t leave unless she asks me to, and for some reason she wasn’t asking me to.

It was when she got sick that I found out why and although I hated to see her weak, part of me enjoyed her illness. After the doctor examined her thoroughly he assured her mother that there was nothing to worry about.   “Your daughter has a very bad flu, just keep giving her warm fluids and ensure that she has complete bed rest,” he said. After he left, my friend’s mother stayed by her side for another hour and then her mobile phone rang, so she left her ill daughter with books to read, coloring books to color, and her teddy bear to hug.

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This was when our fun began. The minute her mother was out of sight, my friend looked up to me and said “Marlin, I want to get out of here.” These words were music to my ears. So, for the next four days we played just like old times. We played in Candy Land, we rode our Unicorns, we had bowls of powerful ice cream that turned us into princesses, and we even played in the Neverland which she recently read about in Peter Pan. Whenever her mother came into the room, she returned to where she was. The games would only stop when it was time for her medication, meals, or just a chit chat. On one morning, her mom’s friend came to visit her and she brought with her a tiny doctor’s set. We played doctor together that day, She pretended she was a doctor who specialized in treating teddy bears. So we gave her teddy bear a shot because he too had the flu.

Another friend of her mom’s got her a toy make up kit,  so we used it to paint our faces and get ready for the ball. She dressed me that day in a silver gown and she wore a gold one. Together, we went to the king’s palace and we each danced with a prince. Our hair grew very long, our cheeks became bright red, and our magic slippers made us hop from one magic place to the next.

Those four days , brought with them beautiful times, but then my friend started feeling better. Don’t  get me wrong, I’m glad my friend is healthy and well again. But, as she got better, she went back to her old ways. She started watching TV alone, coloring alone, and she  started to forget once again about the fairies. I went back to my ways too, I  sat in silence in her room once again waiting day after day for her to talk to me. My long hair got cut, and my gown was replaced with a pair of jeans. As sad as I was, this experience taught me something. It taught me that my friend still sees me and  it assured me that she is not ready to let  me go. not yet, anyway.. I still served a purpose. I was still her voice of strength  when she was weak.

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Part Six

Dear reader, I want you to know that I love my friend. After all, she created me . I was made to look, act, and dress the way she wants me to. My job is to be there when she is lonely. Of course, I am the imaginary friend and this is what I do. But, how is an Imaginary Friend supposed to feel when they are not loved back?

Am I supposed to just leave or should I stay and hope for a change ? The winter has turned into spring and my friend  has packed her winter coat, boots, and gloves. But, she forgot to tell me to pack mine too. I am dressed in winter clothes till now! I know that you would probably tell me to stop being needy and to just change my clothes myself, but I can’t help it. I am not a regular kid who can do these things for herself.  She needs to do these things for me.

Lately, her interests have changed and I fear that I am no longer one of her interests. You see, she  made friends with the neighbors’ son who is also our age.  Now,  they spend their afternoons riding bikes, playing ball, and  playing tag with the other boys. She is not interested in her dolls anymore. She is more interested in playing games with other people. She believes now that fairies don’t exist and the fairies in Candy Land have flown away in search of new magical places created by other kids. Candy Land is now an empty place, where the candy is left to dry . The unicorns have fled too. They too have gone to build memories for other kids who believe in them.

My friend joined the school basketball team, so for three days a week she doesn’t come home from school until very late.

She is turning into a tom boy, and I sometimes wish I was Mark instead of Marlin. If I was a boy, she might have still been my friend and we might have gone to the places where little boys go to with their imaginary friend.  But. of course I can’t turn myself into a boy unless she asks me to. And, so far she hasn’t asked me to. You see, this is my big problem. She  hasn’t been asking me to do anything lately!  I stand on the sidelines of her life watching her as she grows taller and as she changes her interests day after day. I wish she would tell me to leave, but she doesn’t and I don’t understand why !

I even stand on the sides of the basketball court waiting for her to ask me to join the game but she never does. One day  I even asked her if I could join the game  but she said,  “go away, you don’t know how to play.”.

On that day I asked her “Should I go away for good? ” but she said “No Marlin, I’m so sorry please stay.” So, I am still here. waiting for her to need me.

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Part Seven

My friend woke up with a wobbly tooth. In case you didn’t know, this is a major event in any six-year old’s life and it is my job as an imaginary friend to make sure it is memorable. I just hope she is up for the fun this entails. Ignoring me completely, the girl went down to her mother, who was busy making coffee in the kitchen. She said “Mommy, I have a wobbly tooth. It will fall off and the tooth fairy will give me money for it right?”

I was listening to that conversation with my fingers crossed. I was worried that her mother will tell her the truth about the tooth fairy. If she did, any job for me is done. Any spec of imagination this child has is gone, and that means I am gone too. I stood behind the kitchen door waiting for her mother’s reply. The mother opened the girl’s mouth. She examined the tooth, and then she said “Yes you do dear. Don’t play with it. The tooth fairy only comes to kids who don’t play with their teeth.” “Will I see the tooth fairy ?” the girl asked, “No dear, the fairy comes while you are sleeping. Now go get ready for school. ” The girl ran upstairs and I followed her, while sighing in relief  for the fact that her childhood beliefs were not crushed.

Back in her room, my friend asked me “Marlin, what does the tooth fairy look like?” I replied, “I can’t tell you.” After all, I had to keep the fairy’s identity a secret. I paused for a few seconds and then I asked her, “What do you think the tooth fairy looks like?” She replied, “She is tiny. She has a bag of coins with her. She wears leaves, and she has wings an long golden hair. I heard she takes the teeth we leave under the pillow and she gives us a magic coin instead.”

“Hmmm, you are right.” I replied. After all, I am the imaginary friend so I believe what she believes remember?

That day, I followed my friend to school. I know that I have nothing useful to do for her in school. But, it was a big day and I felt I had to be around to save her from any disappointment.

I have to admit that I am a bit selfish in my intentions . I need my friend to still believe in the tooth fairy, because if she doesn’t then she will not believe in anything magical anymore. If she doesn’t believe in anything magical anymore, then she won’t believe in me. If she stops believing in me, then I will have to go. I know that you will probably tell me that it is ok for me to go and that there are other kids I need to care for. But, this kid is different. I can’t leave her now, our time is not up yet. Something inside me tells me that she will need me to stay around just a little longer. I just feel it, but I can’t explain it.

In school, she went excitedly to tell her best friend Rasha about the wobbly tooth and her much awaited visit from the tooth fairy. However, her friend told her that there was no tooth fairy. Devastated by the news, she asked her teacher if the tooth fairy existed. Her teacher, true to her profession to educate said “No dear, the tooth fairy doesn’t exist.” I was furious. “What kind of teacher crushes a kid’s dreams ?” I thought to myself,  “Be realistic sure ! But, don’t hurt the kid in the process. ” I said.

I’m glad that no one hears what I say.  I am only seen and heard when my friend decides to hear and see me. With those hurtful words from the teacher, the school bell rang  announcing the start of the break. As the kids ran outside, my friend walked silently behind them. I could tell that she was deeply hurt.

She went to her little private corner in the playground to pull out her tooth herself.   I ran to that corner, and I saw her crying. I wanted to cry too, but instead I shouted “Don’t pull out the tooth!” She looked at me in shock and said “Marlin?” with tears running down her cheecks , she said “The tooth fairy doesn’t exist. Why are you here ?” “I am here to stop you from doing something very stupid. “But, what do you care. You probably don’t exist too.” she said.

I am here aren’t I ? ” I protested, “look , Rasha doesn’t know about the tooth fairy because she pulls out her teeth herself. Don’t you believe that the fairy exists? Didn’t your mother tell you that she exists this morning?” My friend nodded in silence.  “Then , who cares what anyone else thinks. If you believe then that is what is important. Be your own person ” I said.

My friend then wiped her tears, and she said “Marlin , I am so glad you are here. You are my best friend. I do believe!”

Three days later, her tooth did fall out. True to her promise, her mother did put her a coin under her pillow. But, in her mind my friend believed that the little fairy with blond hair, leaves and wings put the coin under her pillow for her.

After all, where would anyone be without their imaginary friends and their dreams.

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Part  Eight

Part Before the Last

My friend grew taller , but I stayed the same size. She got new clothes, yet I still wear the same clothes from last winter. These days, she doesn’t speak to me at all, so my days in her room are getting quieter and longer.

The last real connection we had was when her first tooth fell out. Since then, she had lost two more but she saw the tooth fairy all by herself. Now, I try to talk to her but she doesn’t listen. She doesn’t tell me that I don’t exist, but I know that she believes it.

She plays with her friends at school, her neighbor and her cousins but she doesn’t play with me. I wonder if she even sees me. I ask her but she doesn’t even look in my direction to respond.

I pass my days in her room, stuck in our memories. I guess this is how things end for all imaginary friends. There comes a time in every kids life, when he or she just feels that they have no space for us in their future dreams.

I have learned to live with that. After all, I knew this was going to be my end. I’m an imaginary friend and I am not meant to be by anyone’s side forever, not as an imaginary friend anyway but I will leave that little detail for a later time. It breaks my heart that she just doesn’t need me yet I am proud of her. I am proud of the big girl she has become. I can see now that she will be ok in this world and so my job is done.

I would never leave if I felt that she won’t make it on her own, but I am sure she will. She is happy, healthy, and she has a good head on her shoulders. She is even beautiful, and I know that she will have lots of boys chasing her. She is smart, so I am sure that she will be successful in her life.

Now that I can make such confirmations, it is time for me to let go. I will be saying goodbye, next week on her seventh birthday. Unless of course she invites me.

I don’t think she will.

But that too is ok, this is how life ends for us as imaginary friends. We can’t fight the inevitable.


Part Nine

The Last Year

Today, my time is up. It is my friend’s seventh birthday and I had made a promise to myself to leave on this day if she doesn’t talk to me or even believe in me. Well, for the last few months I had officially turned invisible in her life, but as an imaginary friend I stayed around just to be sure that my work is done.

Well, I confirm today that my work here is done. So, I watched my friend sleep for one more time. I had went over our memories together for one last time. She was an amazing friend. I will always remember our journeys to the candy land and the rainbows. I will remember our rides on  the unicorns, and the tooth fairy. I’m not upset or offended, this is all part of growing up and I know that as the days go by none of these memories will mean anything to her. In fact, I am happy that she grew up healthy.

On our sixth birthday this same day last year, we planned everything together, but  this year she is busy planning things with her friends at school. She is also planning things with her mother who ordered a cake looking like one of the Disney princesses that she never told me she was fond of.

I should feel happy though because I know in my heart that I was the perfect friend throughout this whole time and as a good friend I should take my queue and leave when my time is up. After all, it is not in the imaginary friend’s code of ethics to stick around for longer than our time. Ethically we should learn to let go and to allow our friends to grow into fine adults without us. My time with my friend  was great and yes she is a great kid. She will be a great young lady, maybe a great mom, a great wife, and a wonderful woman. The future has a lot to tell and I look forward to seeing how her fascinating life story unfolds.

But, I want to let you in on a little secret, as imaginary friends we never leave . We do stick around, but as the years go by we transform ourselves into that voice of reason that one might hear in their heads. We can’t talk to our friends directly as they grow older because society tells them that talking to an imaginary friend makes them crazy. So to respond to the demands of society, we  give them a gut feeling when something doesn’t feel right or when something does. We can’t force our friends to talk to us or to listen but we are there and we are always looking out for the people we love. So remember that dear reader whenever your gut is telling you something. Listen to it.

Anyway, for today I bid this girl farewell and I move on to be an imaginary friend to another kid who needs me. But, while I am doing that I assure you that I will stay in her life, ready to nudge her or to be her voice of reason whenever she chooses to listen. She won’t listen to me all the time, but that too is part of growing up. She will make stupid mistakes which she will learn from.

So  today I will say

Goodbye my friend

Happy birthday

Happy life

And I will always be there for you

Marlin left her friend on the morning of her seventh birthday and her friend moved on to celebrate one birthday after the next. Her friend is an adult now . She has become an author who still listens to Marlin who has now dissolved into a gut feeling, but she really doesn’t know that her gut feeling is that same imagery friend she had from childhood.

The End

7/10/2016

A personal note

Finishing this story was great achievement for me, as I started writing it in 2015 in response to a writing prompt which I played with  as an assignment for a writing group I had with some friends.  For  almost a year I left this story, as I had no idea what to do with it. A few weeks ago , I decided to work on it more. To be honest I never have any idea or plan regarding how my stories will turn out. They write themselves.  I am happy that I was inspired me enough to complete this. If I learned something from this experience, it’s just that you have make the decision to continue what you started and in most cases you do and you have fun on the way. Whether this story is good or not, I leave that to you as the reader to decide but for me this story does have a sentimental value.

Dana

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