June 23, 2011
By Anonymous

I’ve come to tell you my story. It is a tragic tale. But not your typical tragic tale of forbidden love or uncontrollable emotions or seemingly unreachable aspirations. No. My story is a normal story about a normal little girl. A little girl who was brought into a family where she never truly learns the values of cooperation or the importance of sharing. A family where almost everything she wants she gets because there is no one else who wants something equally as much. A family where a little girl can become unbearably lonely. A family where little girls are forced to create their own fun or sometimes even their own friends. That’s right. I am an only child.

That little girl was me and my name is Marie. By the age of six I was equivalent mentally to a divorced forty-eight year old woman. Tired and fed up with everybody and their fake faces. Not saying that I did not do the same. Everyday I plastered a toothy, angelic grin on my face while I walked barefoot in my summer dress through the backyard. My fading, golden hair pulled up in a butterfly elastic while my brown eyes told another story.

Now, as a child I can always remember talking to myself, asking questions, pretending to answer questions unasked. You’re right again. I had an imaginary friend. Such a lonely alternative actually. But she was the best friend I ever could have asked for. She kept me naïve and young when it seemed I would hit puberty before I turned seven.

The girl I often pictured was what I guess I always pictured as the ideal little girl. She was sweet and playful and fun. Everybody would have loved her. The opposite of what I felt I was to everyone. Her brown curls bounced when she ran and she just shined with bliss. After awhile I began to picture her older. Eventually moving up into her teens. I still can’t come to terms why I would ever want to be friends with a teenager but that is what I did and I never thought nothing of it.

Though it seemed like I gradually stopped talking to her it was actually that she was talking less to me. Yes, that had to be it. Because why would I ever want to stop talking to my one and only friend. It must be because she’s getting so old. We would have nothing in common anymore. So I tried to make her go back to being my age again. I mean, I created her right? So, I should be able to pick exactly how she is. Like God. I should be her God. Unless my God is keeping me from changing her. Like He wants me to be alone. But He could never want that for me, could He? No, God couldn’t be that cruel.

But eventually, after being ignored for so long, I was forced back into being alone. The fake smile that before was only saved for my parents was now a permanent fixture upon my face and I wore it all of the time as I watched my friend go through life and eventually forget me altogether. I couldn’t bear to rid her from my mind. Being miserable was better then being alone and miserable. Besides, what if she wanted to be friends again but she no longer existed. That wouldn’t be very nice of me, No, not nice at all. I can’t do that.

Then one day, after two long years of waiting my friend finally decided to come back to me. Maybe she had watched me sulk long enough or maybe she had come to tell that she had only been joking and things could go back to normal now. Things could go back and she would see me again and play with me. Which is why I needed her. Why I created her. I needed to be seen. All six year olds crave attention.

But when she approached me her expression was not what I expected. It was curious but sad. She looked over her shoulder and appeared to trail her eyes over me, almost as if I shouldn’t be standing in my own room. Like I didn’t belong. Then with unmistakable hesitation she turned almost unconsciously towards me and took a tentative step forward. Then, in a cautious half whisper I had never heard before, she asked: “You do realize I’m the real one, and I’m imagining you, right?”

The author's comments:
I always had an imaginary friend when I was younger.

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