Make, Believe, and Friendship

Writing Prompt: You and your best friend have been practically inseparable since the age of three. Today, he/she turns seven, and suddenly doesn’t acknowledge you as much. You realize that you’re not just any friend… you’re an imaginary friend.

We’d been through just about everything together, Ellie and I.

It didn’t matter that her parents weren’t all that fond of me, I didn’t care that her friends wouldn’t include or acknowledge me either. Ellie completed me. Without her I was nothing, a nobody, in fact I couldn’t even remember what life was like before her.

I was there to hold her hand when the school nurse had to administer her jabs. I told her it was for her own good, that it would keep her from getting poorly. She squeezed my hand so tight when that first needle pricked her skin. I felt like crying for her.

I was there when her parents bought their first (and what would be their last) family pet, a lovable scamp of a pup named Milo.

Ellie adored Milo with all her heart, and so it was no surprise to me when, after Milo’s sudden death, Ellie’s heart shattered in two. I tried to comfort her as best I could. I let her cry. I held her when she wanted holding.

Her parents swore off pets after that, hoping to protect their precious little girl from further heart ache. Well how do they think I felt? I was here long before Milo, and yet Ellie would never see me as she saw him…

I was even there for Ellie’s first kiss. That’s when I knew I loved her, truly and deeply loved her. Her cheeks flushed with colour when that thug Johnathon Torrance caught her be surprise with a sudden smack on the lips.

Johnathon Torrance. He didn’t love Ellie like I did, he didn’t love her at all. It should have been me.

One night I heard them talking, Ellie and her parents. They were trying to convince their little girl to let me go, to move on. She had real friends now, they said. She didn’t need me anymore.

I sat in the attic crying for hours, Ellie didn’t once come up to check on me. That’s when I realised she was growing up, and that no matter what I did she’d forget about me soon enough.

I was distraught, lost for words and for purpose. I was filled with a rage I never thought possible. I see now that that rage was my own insecurity, a fear of being tossed aside. I didn’t know who I was without Ellie. I would become a nobody, a nothing.

So we argued, Ellie and I. Through the night. And I regret every word I said.

The painful part is knowing I’ll never get the chance to apologise, to take it back. She told me she never wanted to see me again, she screamed as much until she was blue in the face, and just like that I disappeared. Poof. No more. Nobody. Nothing.

But that wasn’t to be the end, my end.

A decade, maybe two, had passed since my existence (or there lack of) had ended. Time holds no meaning when you’re not around to watch it tick on by. Ellie was so much older now, she had a husband, a house, another little pup (and I still pray to this day that that pup never dies, but it will, as all things do).

But I wasn’t there for Ellie, not this time. Ellie couldn’t see me, not now. She was much too old and I was much too young. That spark inside of her that had believed in the magical, the imaginary, had long since died out. But her memory hadn’t.

There she was, Isabella, and what a beauty too. Ellie’s daughter, and the spitting imagine of her mum at only three years old. Ellie had told her daughter stories about me. There was many a bed time tale of a friend who would always be there for her, had always been there for her. A friend that might now decide to watch over Isabella, her daughter, instead.

I felt a tear rise and fall from the ball of my eye. What had once been rage subsided to an indescribable happiness. This was my second chance. Where there had only been pain for so long a time I now felt a new lease of purpose.

Isabella smiled at me, waving, and I smiled back.

It’s funny really. I can’t remember there ever being a time before Isabella. She completes me, she is me. I think I’m in love.

Copyright © K R Perry 2019

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