Magic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” –Vincent van Gogh

When I was little, it felt like a crime if I didn't make a wish on a shooting star. I wrote guides to fairies and journals about my encounters with dragons, and I talked aloud to no one, just in case someone, or something, was listening.

I believed in magic with all my heart and soul. I believed in fairies and elves (the tall, handsome ones with bows and silk clothes, not the tiny, troublesome ones). I believed in dragons, wizards, and witches, and I believed that the center of this web – the web of a secret and beautiful world – was me. I thought that if I waited long enough, some day I would be called to duty, called to lead the armies into battle and fulfill my destiny.

When I was at school, out to dinner with my family, or anywhere surrounded by other people, I felt horrifically boring. But when I came home, I would lie on my bed and close my eyes and feel like the most important person in the world. I knew that if I waited, I would be the most important person in the world. Just a little bit longer.

To be honest, I should go back through this and change all the past tense verbs to present tense, because I still believe in magic. I still believe in fairies and dragons, witches, wizards, and tall, beautiful elves. But it's more of “I hope” than “I believe,” and that doubt hurts. That doubt makes me feel guilty. I no longer see myself at the center of a magical web. Some would say that's just part of growing up. I don't mind growing up, I don't mind responsibility, work, deadlines, or whatever comes with being a “grown-up.” But tell me, where in the definition of grown-up does it say you have to give up on magic?

I'm waiting to be called to duty; I know I'll probably always be waiting, but if I give up on that and move on with being a grown up, I will miss my chance. Maybe I'll just be miserable until my dying day, but I know I'll never regret it. How could you regret hours of time spent imagining a life where you are the hero? That's like regretting rewatching your favorite movie over and over. It was great while it lasted, and it never ended, not truly.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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