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Once upon a time, a young girl the age of six lived life in her own imagination. Her name was Annabelle and she was the luckiest girl in the world because she got to live with her best friend. Annabelle didn’t have many friends, but she did not care because Jelly Bean was the best friend she could have ever asked for. Jelly Bean was no ordinary boy, no, he was little Annabelle’s imaginary friend. He was a perfect gentleman and the perfect playmate too; Annabelle and Jelly Bean were completely inseparable.
One day, Annabelle planned a tea party in her sunroom. When Jelly Bean arrived, he looked deeply troubled and Annabelle knew he brought bad news. “Jelly Bean, you look so sad. Is something wrong?” she asked him with sad eyes.
“Oh Annabelle, you are such a good friend to me and I do not wish to trouble you. I’m afraid we have a lot to discuss. You are the only one on Earth that can see me, which is why I really need your help,” Jelly Bean took a step closer to Annabelle. “You see, when you go to sleep at night and we no longer play, I go back to my own home…world. I live not here on Earth, but in a world known as Dreamia. Dreamia is a beautiful land where all the imaginary friends in the world live while their Earth child sleeps. The princess of Dreamia and I are engaged to be married, and I love her more than anyone can understand. I fear the princess is not quite herself these days because a terrible illness has fallen over her. We have called every doctor in Dreamia, to no avail. Annabelle, I cannot let her die!”
Annabelle looked into Jelly Bean’s tear-filled eyes and knew she had to help him. “Jelly Bean, never have we spent such a dreary moment together, and I wish there was something I could do…” Jelly Bean cut her off,
“There is Annabelle! There is only one simple cure: the touch of a human. This cure has never been tried before, but you are my last chance to keep her. She needs you, we all do.” Jelly Bean reached out to her. No human had ever traveled to Dreamia before, but Annabelle knew she had to go. She closed her eyes for about a minute to fight off any apprehensions, and gave her friend a quick nod. Together they walked upstairs into Annabelle’s room and Jelly Bean explained that her closet was actually a portal to his home land. Amazed and confused, Annabelle walked into the closet with Jelly Bean and shut the door. The room felt unusually empty and within a few seconds the entire room was shaking. Annabelle opened her eyes to the most beautiful land she had ever seen. There were acres of vivid green grass, with ponds, animals, and a full-arch rainbow across the cerulean sky. Annabelle felt calm and safe as she swallowed a deep breath of the clean, sweet air. As she gazed around, she saw a massive castle completely engrossed in purple violets, so much so that the walls looked more like gardens than stone. The castle windows sparkled beneath the orange sun.
Jelly Bean brought Annabelle back to reality. “Please, she is in the top tower, follow me. You must understand that nobody in the kingdom knows of our engagement. The King forbids the marriage of royalty to a commoner. My hope is that if you can save her life, the King will give us his approval,” he whispered before entering the castle. Annabelle suddenly became worried; she had forgotten that this cure had never been tested on an imaginary friend before. She nervously walked up twelve flights of stairs to the princess’s tower and opened the door. The room had windows covering every wall, so the princess was shining like a star, even with her terrible illness. Annabelle had never seen anyone so beautiful before. Jelly Bean walked into the room behind her and made his way to the princess’s bedside. Gently, he stroked her golden blonde hair out of her fragile face and kissed her on the forehead. Annabelle could see he was whispering something to her, but she could not tell what he said. She was overcome with sadness as she watched Jelly Bean’s tears splash on the princess’s cheek. In a trance-like state, she made her way to Princess Leah’s bed and watched her tiara slide off her head as she turned to face Annabelle. Her green eyes were piercing and hazy and her face was as white as fresh snow. Leah tried to speak, but simply could not summon any words from her weak, shaky lips. Jelly Bean looked up at Annabelle, “There isn’t much time, just reach out and take her hand. The magic only works through the power of one child and one imaginary friend, so I must go. I don’t know what will happen, but trust that you are safe, Annabelle.” Jelly Bean left the tower and shut the door. Annabelle took a long, slow breath, placed Leah’s limp hand in her own, and wished with all of her being that the princess would be cured. After a few seconds passed without any results, Annabelle fretfully released Leah’s hand.
The poor young girl was so upset and frantic that she failed to notice the miracle occurring right before her eyes. Leah was floating above her bed, barely visible through a thick fog of purple mist. Annabelle backed away and watched in amazement as the fog expanded and darkened. Suddenly, the mist vanished, exposing the princess. She appeared well and beautiful, but Annabelle was anything but relieved because of a slight change in Leah; the princess had become a human! Annabelle rubbed her eyes over and over as she gawked at the woman she had just created. Princess Leah looked herself up and down, touched her face, and quickly collapsed to the floor.
“Jelly Bean! Jelly Bean! Come back right now, come back!” Annabelle ran to the princess laying on the stone floor. Jelly Bean rushed back into the room and joined the girls on the floor. Annabelle looked at him, completely in a panic. “I…I…I don’t know what happened…I…I just touched her! That’s all I did! She’s…human! Oh Jelly Bean, I’m so sorry! I’m so, so sorry!” the poor girl was sobbing into her hands. Jelly Bean stroked Leah’s hair again, and her eyes began to flutter. Slowly, the princess sat up and hugged Annabelle.
“Annabelle, you have saved my life and for that I owe you any favor you may desire. You took a great risk coming to Dreamia, for if my father had seen you, he surely would have locked you away. It does not matter that I am human now, and I wish to show you both why I believe so. Please, come with me,” Leah stood up and took the confused and worried Jelly Bean and Annabelle out of the tower. They walked all the way to the end of the hall, past seven doors, to reach the King’s bedroom. Jelly Bean gulped and Leah took his hand to assure him that it was okay. Princess Leah knocked on the door and out came a very large man wearing the most extravagant crown Annabelle had ever seen.
“L..L…Leah! My sweet Leah! What has happened to you? You are cured, and a human! How..how..” The King struggled to speak, but his daughter cut him off. “Father, I know the kingdom’s laws well, and with that I also know some secrets. I know that humans are banned from Dreamia, but this little girl here is responsible for me being able to stand before you right now. Jelly Bean, my fiancé, has brought his Earth child here to save my life. I love him, and for this we owe them both a favor. Yes, I am now a human, and my fiancé is still an imaginary friend, so you can see our predicament. Daddy, I know the castle has a potion hidden away in the cellar that can change an imaginary friend into a human, and I wish to have it for Jelly Bean.” Jelly Bean smiled and knew that if the King agreed to this, he could finally live happily ever after with his love. The King appeared dizzy, perhaps he was even dillusional, because he agreed to his daughter’s proposal. Leah gave her father a long hug and told him that she would be living on Earth with Jelly Bean, but knew she was welcome to come back. Annabelle smiled as Jelly Bean and Leah hugged and kissed each other.
After Jelly Bean was transformed into a human like his love, the trio traveled back to Earth together. On the trip home, Annabelle realized that Jelly Bean was no longer her imaginary friend and she had nobody to play with. Her eyes filled with tears, and Jelly Bean knew exactly what she was thinking. He looked at Leah with a tiny grin and she nodded her head. Leah put her hand on Annabelle’s shoulder and said, “Annabelle, do not worry. My earth child lives very near to you and I know that if you tell her of your adventures with me, you will become the best of friends. Her name is Celina; I know you will love her.” Leah and Jelly Bean moved into the house across the street from Annabelle as if they had always been a human couple. On Annabelle’s first day of school, her cubby was located directly next to Celina’s. Leah was right: Celina and Annabelle became best friends and kept the secret of Dreamia between them for the rest of their lives, and they all lived happily ever after.