I know, I am a day late with this and I am sorry. Yesterday was my first day off in 9 days and I totally blew my day laying in bed watching television and sleeping. I know, not that best thing for a creative soul to do, or for someone trying to lose weight. I regret nothing.
Anyways, here is this weeks prompt. I should be able to get two next week to make up for the one week I missed. I am telling you, I have been in such a funk I can’t seem to do anything on time or right lately. I went like three months posting everyday and then this month hit. I gotta figure out what is going on in my head and fix it..quick.
Where does an imaginary friend go when the child that created them no longer needs or remembers them? I have heard the rumors. But the truth is, none of us know. That’s the scariest thing of it all, not knowing what happens when Bobby forgets me. Bobby just turned 9. He promises he will never forget me, but I have noticed his attention is fading away. He doesn’t think about me while he is in school and when he is home it’s study and video games. I knew those bloody video games would be the death of me.
There is an imaginary friend support group every Wednesday night. I go, just to hear what others are struggling with. Last week there were two imaginary friends that didn’t show up. I found out that they were no longer around. Their kids forgot about them. I can already feel myself fading away. It’s sad really, to know that you are dying, to know that your purpose has been filled and you are no longer needed. It’s actually a little depressing.
Think about it, as an imaginary friend I am here to make a child laugh and help them feel not so alone in the world. Yet, when they are done with me I disappear. I go away, never to return. I have never heard of an imaginary friend coming back for the kids of the child that was once theirs. It doesn’t happen. Imaginary friends are not recycled. There is nothing we can do about the Fade. We just cease to exist one day. We have no time to say goodbye to those around us, no time to prepare ourselves. One day, we are just gone.
Bobby noticed my pacing the other day, and he asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was afraid to disappear. I told him I was afraid of what would happen to me when he forgot me completely. He gave me the same story that every child hears from their parents. “You will go to a better place.” Yeah, because imaginary beings have a place like a human soul has heaven. What if I just end up in complete blackness, nothing there, just me and the dark.
My time has come. The Fade is taking me over now. Bobby is 12 now and he has not spoken to me for a month. It feels like it was just yesterday that he was sitting in the floor, drawing a picture of me. And now it is all over. I will finally see where imaginary friends go. I will finally see what happens when a child lets go of the one thing that kept them happy for so many years.
“Welcome to the Spa.” A voice calls to me as the darkness fades away to a bright light. “Mr. Man, we have your room ready for you.”
“What?” I ask the woman, whose face I can now see. She has a smile and I recognize her. “Suzy Sunshine?” I almost choke. She was the imaginary friend of the girl next door. She was three years older than Bobby, and you know girls develop faster than boys. She let poor little Suzy Sunshine go when she was only 8. I hugged Suzy Sunshine and could feel her laugh.
“It’s not so bad here.” She tells me as I follow her through the white hall of doors. “This is our repurposing program. Once you have been pampered and rested, you will choose where you go next.”
“Do I get to go to another child?”
“No. Sadly, your life as an imaginary friend is over.”
“I like being an imaginary friend.”
“What is the one thing that all imaginary friends wish for?”
“To be real…of course.” I tell her, it’s the one thing that we all wish for, that we all pray for.
“This facility will prepare you to be a soul. Where do you think new souls come from?”
“I don’t know, I assumed they were created by the big man upstairs.”
“Oh, well, they are kind of.” Suzy Sunshine opens the door to room 1598. “This is your room.” She hands me a robe and some slippers, both are so soft I can’t help but to brush them across my face. “A child can create the kindest, most entertaining beings. Once these children are grown, they no longer have a use for the imaginary friend they have created. But, as you know, we are no longer just imaginary friends at that point. We have lived a short life, how fair would it be if we just disappeared?”
“So…I get to become a human?”
“It is a process, and if you so choose to take that route, then yes, you will become human.” She pauses long enough to take my clothes that I have removed. “But there are other options. While you are here you will learn all about them. You can be a guardian angel, a mythical creature that crosses paths with humans, or a ghost that haunts humans. You can also become a human. As a human you will have the ability to create your own imaginary friend, another soul. You won’t remember your life as an imaginary friend, but you will understand the importance of the imaginary life.”
Well, I guess that answers my questions. What happens to an imaginary friend when the child no longer needs them? They go on to live a whole other life. A life that they get to choose. Makes you wonder, how many humans started life as an imaginary friend?