It was the summer of 1902 when I last saw him. I was 12, and he… he never really told me how old he was. But I assumed he was just as 12 as me. I remembered watching him slowly disappear while I was standing in front of my window, trying to fight the tears as strongly as I fought the devastating fact that this will be the last time I will ever see him.
Every time he left, he always came back, regardless of how often he said that he won’t ever return. He always came back, and he always took me with him. We go on amazing adventures together, and just before dawn, we return exactly as we are, not a second older.
But in that summer of 1902, I was bound to turn thirteen. And deep in my heart, I knew, that when he told me that night that it was the last time, he meant it. Because he cannot be as thirteen as me anymore, no matter how much I want him to.
To die would be an awfully big adventure, but I must grow up.
October 8, 1909
“This is amazing, Wendy,” Mr. Griffith told me.
Mr. Griffith is my creative literature professor. And when he asked me to stay just after everybody left the room, I knew what he was going to say. He handed me an ink stained paper, folded crosswise, to tell me that I passed his monthly fiction writing challenge for the entire class.
It’s been a hard decision for me, going to university. It was a sign of me growing up and leaving another chapter behind. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to leave all the chapters in my life after that summer. But it seemed like ever since I turned thirteen, there was not really any desirable options for me.
So here I am, 20 years of age, barely surviving my second year at university. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I’m a writing student. I may have left behind all the adventures and all the amazing things that I had seven years ago, but those memories lasted in my mind. And through writing, I know I can make them alive forever.
“Thank you, Mr. Griffith,” I told him humbly. Even though at the back of my mind, I sort of expected him to commend my work again. He’s always been a fan of my work, especially my characters.
“There’s this character in your story, James Hook? Why isn’t he in your new chapters?”
“After that chapter where he captured me, I never want to write about him again.”
Mr. Griffith showed a little confusion, though he didn’t say so.
“Uhm, Wendy… By ‘me,’ you meant, the character Wendy, right? You named it after yourself?”
“Oh, uhm, yes.”
“Well, then. Good job, Wendy. I cannot wait to read the next one.”
I smiled at him and went out of the room, one ink stained chapter of my story on one hand, and a pile of sweat on the other.
“So, another round of applause from Griffith, eh?” Thomas said.
I was already expecting him waiting by the door, altogether with his snide comment about me and how it’s unfair that I’m Mr. Griffith’s favorite. But what can I do? I am a girl of realistic fiction.
“You know, Thomas, if you could write simply from the heart, maybe you could capture Mr. Griffith’s attention for once,” I told him.
“Oh, please, Wendy. You write everything as if you’re narrating something that’s true to life! No one could beat that. And how in the world could you do that, anyway?”
“I told you. My adventures as a child are my only inspiration. If it wasn’t for the Lost Boys, I never would have impressed Mr. Griffith.”
Thomas just stayed silent, and in the end we both just shrugged it off. Ever since I got into university, Thomas has been the most decent friend that I have had, even if we treat each other like competitors in Mr. Griffith’s class. I envy him, to be honest. I admire how passionately and amazingly he writes with just his imagination. My adventures, on the other hand, could sometimes be a curse as well. What kind of a writer would I be if not for these little adventures of mine?
After my classes everyday, I go with Thomas to his house where we wait for his mother. Which is a little odd since his mother never really shows up while I’m there. We just talk and the next thing I know, my father will be by the door to pick me up.
“So, may I see the glorious chapter that have bewitched Griffith this time?” Thomas said as he placed his bag on their side table and sat on their couch.
I excitedly dug onto my bag to get the freshly kept paper put between the pages of my history book, and handed it to him.
He read it for a long while, not giving away an inch of expression from his face. Just a pair of emotionless eyes, complemented with a subtle frown. It doesn’t strike me, however. Thomas always looked like that everytime he reads my works. In the end, he just settles with praising it and asking me more questions. I know he likes them, my stories. Maybe he just doesn’t want to show it.
After a few minutes of silence, he returned the paper back to its old folding pattern and handed it back to me.
“So, uh, I guess there’s a new character?” he asked.
“Oh, yes. His name is Yorkaz, but I’m planning to mention his name on the next chapter. We met him in the woods of Neverland. And Peter, with his kind heart, is thinking if he should include Yorkaz in his brave group of Lost Boys,” I said.
“I’m impressed, Wendy. This is a great amount of detail. How do you come up with this?”
“I told you, it’s real.”
For a moment, Thomas just stared at me.
“Don’t you believe me, Thomas?”
For the first time, Thomas gave away concern in his eyes. He brought out a bundle of papers from his bag, then wrote something on them.
“I want to believe you, Wendy. I really do.”
I stare at him in disbelief. And just when I was about to respond, a knock on the door interrupted us.
“I’m sorry, Wendy. I really am,” Thomas said, and rushed to the door.
I heard murmuring and a growing temper in the voice opposite Thomas.
If you’re familiar with the words, “curiosity kills”, I found about that the hard way. I could not help but stand up from my seat to stand a little closer to the door. And out of all the voices, I could not believe that it was his voice, with those words, that I heard.
“Then why can’t you fix my daughter?” the voice said.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Darling. But as I have told you. This process will take a lot longer than this,” replied Thomas. What in the world am I hearing?
“You are a doctor! You are not Wendy’s friend. You are supposed to cure her! Not befriend her! You’re only making this worse!”
Cure me from what?
I already feel tears falling on my cheeks, which is also burning hot. What is happening?
Is there something wrong with me? Why did they want to fix me?
Happy thoughts, I told myself. Just think of happy thoughts.