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Magic and Girl

Girl was a beautiful creature. She was a fragile thing with wide, curious eyes and soft golden curls. To her, the world was small. But no matter how big or small it was, she intended to explore every inch of it.
Magic was her practiced counterpart. He had seen hundreds of others as innocent and as bright as Girl. Millenia had passed before his eyes. And though he was still as youthful as ever, his hands were worn with years of experience.
Magic was also a teacher. He taught Girl the ways of her small world. How to dance with the summer breeze, how to sing the like the running streamlet. He taught her that trees were her guardians and birds her protectors, as long as she treated them with kindness. Together, they counted the stars and strolled through the tall wheat stalks. Under his watchful care, Girl learned how to let her spirit soar.
The pair truly did care for one another. Girl adored Magic because he whispered the secrets of the universe into her ear. And Magic, though he had seen others like Girl, loved her for her kind heart. She was different, and that's why he cared for her more than any other he had taught. But he knew their bliss could not last. Every child he taught met the same fate. And though Girl was brighter than the rest, he knew that she would end up like the others.
One cool summer evening, Magic taught Girl how to talk with the fireflies that flitted near them. He watched her as she would catch one lightning bug in her cupped hands and whisper small talk to it before letting it go again. After letting another firefly go, Girl noticed Magic staring at her with an unspoken melancholy. She asked him what was wrong.
"You will one day leave me," Magic explained with tears in his gentle eyes.
"I will not!" Girl exclaimed. "I would never leave you."
"You will," Magic said in a defeated voice. "You will grow up and decide I'm no longer good enough. Then you will leave. Then you will forget."
"I would never forget you, Magic," Girl whispered in a solemn tone. "How could I ever forget you?"
"That's what they all say," replied Magic.
"But I am different," Girl said. "You said so yourself."
"You are different. But even you cannot break history's steady streak."
"I will," Girl promised. "You don't have to worry, Magic. I am different and I will never leave. I promise that I will never forget you."
Magic smiled in return, but deep down in his wise heart, he knew that some things would never change.
The summer of Girl's childhood passed sweetly yet swiftly. Magic and Girl spent many evenings together and Magic taught her everything he knew. How to run, how to jump. How to weep, and how to love. And, caught in the whirlwind of Girl's passion, he allowed himself to believe that she was different.
However, all good things have to come to an end. Girl had to leave for school, as her predecessors had done. So, she packed her bags and waved goodbye to Magic, promising to return.
But school changed things. Girl met others like her. They called themselves "Friends." Girl knew what friends where. Magic had taught her so. These Friends seemed nice enough, so she decided to join them.
The Friends told Girl that she needed to wear makeup if she wanted to be pretty. They told her that she needed to dye her hair if she wanted to be beautiful. They told her she needed to say certain things to certain girls if she wanted to be popular.
Girl wanted to be pretty and beautiful and popular. So, she obeyed. She painted her face and colored her hair and said things to others. At first it was fun. Then, Girl's so-called "Friends" decided that they were bored with Girl. She wasn't pretty or beautiful or popular enough. As a result, they decided to make her the victim.
Magic had lied. These weren't what friends were. Friends were supposed to be kind and supportive. They weren't supposed to make you cry and call you ugly.
School ended, for now, and Girl returned home. Girl, tired from all the tribulation the others had put her through, ran into Magic's outstretched arms and told him all that had happened. Magic comforted her and told her that the others were not Friends. Not even close.
In an attempt to console her, Magic offered to teach her some more about the world. She always seemed to cheer up at his lessons. But Girl was too tired, and refused, saying that maybe she would feel up to it later.
She never did. She still talked with him, but the never had another lesson.
Eventually, it was time to go back to school. This time, Girl met another curious creature. One called Man.
Man was, in a way, like Magic. He was a teacher, and he taught Girl. At first, his lessons felt just like Magic's. Man taught her how to throw a baseball and when to see a movie. It was fun, and Girl forgot about her worries when she was with him.
Slowly, Man taught her deeper things. How to smoke a cigarette, what to say when a man cat-called her. How to drink liquor and how keep it down. Girl didn't like these things as much, but she did them anyway. She did them because Man told her he loved her. And Girl, who had forgotten Magic's lesson on love long ago, thought she loved him back.
School ended once again, and Girl came back home. Only this time, she had a promise from Man. A promise of a future visit.
Girl visited Magic again and told him of all her adventures with Man. Magic listened to her recounting and began to worry. His frown grew deeper and deeper as the tale continued.
"You must stay away from Man," Magic said once her tale had finished.
Girl scowled. "Why?"
"Because he does not love you. He will use you and then throw you out once he's bored with you."
"He won't," Girl argued. "He won't because he loves me."
"He does not love you," Magic replied. "He has forgotten what love is, just as I fear you have."
"He is visiting tomorrow."
"Tell him to go back. Tell him you do not wish to see him."
Girl glared at Magic. "You do not wish for me to see him because you are selfish. You think that you will lose me if I stay with Man."
"No!" Magic exclaimed. "I, unlike Man, love you. And I have seen the same thing happen to many girls and many boys. Man will rob you of your innocence. And once he is done, you will leave me and forget."
"But I am different, remember? I have kept my promise, I have not left nor forgotten. Man will change nothing of that."
Magic watched her as she stormed away. Silently, he wept. Despite what she said, Girl was growing up. And, as she grew up, he feared that she would forget much more than him.
Man, true to his word, did show up the next day. He took her to town and promised her he had a treat. Girl was excited, until she saw where he was taking her. Then she began to worry.
It was a dark part of town full of dark people. Man claimed they were his friends, but Girl knew that true friends were hard to find.
Man then told her that he, like Magic, knew secrets. He knew ways to forget pain and worry. He knew how make one forget about their problems. And he promised Girl he could help her forget her worries if she trusted him.
Girl became very anxious. Magic had told her that pain was important. It was never fun, but it made happiness all the sweeter. If she forgot her pain, she would forget true happiness. But then she remembered the argument she and Magic had. What did he know, anyway? He was selfish. He had lied to her. Man wasn't selfish, he would never lie.
So, pushing her anxiety down, Girl decided to trust Man and take the needles he offered her.
Magic saw what she had done when she returned home that night. He saw the mark on her arm and the emptiness in her once curious eyes. She was still there, she still remembered. But the sight of her made Magic weep.
Girl still visited Magic, though she didn't trust him as she once did. But she spent more time with Man than she did Magic, taking his enchanting formula and forgetting that she had felt any pain.
The summer ended, the new year started. Girl said goodbye to Magic, and then Man took her to college. There, she followed Man. She listened to his counsel, taking more needles and drinking more liquor.
Eventually, Man asked her to spend a night with him. He reminded her of everything he had done for her, he told her he loved her. Again, Magic's words thrust their way into Girl's mind. She would surely lose her innocence if she went with Man.
But she was different. She was special. She would never grow up. She would never forget. Magic was wrong. Girl would remember, she would.
And so, Girl slept by Man's side that night. But when she woke up, she was no longer Girl. Girl had died the night she gave her youth away. In her stead was a creature named Woman.
True to Magic's word, Man left after that night. Woman cried, but only a little. What did she expect? It was how the world worked. There were other men, other places to get needles, other beds to share. This is how Woman thought, for Woman was all grown up. And grown ups who forget don't believe in love.
Woman returned to her childhood home the next summer. She didn't remember the countless evenings spent under the twinkling stars. She didn't remember how to dance with the wind or sing like the brook. She didn't remember Magic.
Magic observed her from a distance, realizing that she was no longer the child he once knew. Her golden curls were now limp and brown. Her arms were deathly thin and they had little marks all over them. She wore tight black pants and a very low cut top, nothing like the sundresses she wore in her childhood. But the biggest change was the indifference in her eyes.
She looked upon with a distaste. She didn't see friends in the trees or family in the birds. And when her eyes landed on Magic, they looked through him unseeingly.
Girl was gone. She had left and forgotten. Just like they always did.
Magic cried and Woman left. He knew that he would never see his lovely Girl again, and she thought Magic was an object only found in childish fairytales. It seemed as if their paths would never cross again.
And then...
Many summers passed. Magic was alone for many years, with only the land and sky to keep him company. He missed Girl terribly, but forced himself to move on. He never once expected her to return.
But she did.
She was still Woman, but she had been able to regain some of her brightness. Her hair was once again golden, she was wearing a bright sundress. She looked healthy, clean, and alert. Her eyes were still indifferent, but not as much as they once were.
She wasn't alone.
One afternoon, Magic heard the approaching sound of footsteps. He expected to see Woman coming through the stalks of wheat, but was instead met with the sight of a small child with curly golden hair and curious, wide eyes peaking through the waving wheat.
"Hello," Magic greeted, a small smile spreading across his face. "I am Magic."
"Hello," The child timidly responded. "I'm Boy."






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