As we grow older, most of us tend to forget our imaginary friends. They become a memory of our past that we only recall when our parents say “Remember Kathryn?” You try to think of all the little girls you knew that were named Kathryn only to remember that Kathryn was your imaginary friend. Our imagination is our first real friend, our first companion before we leave our homes and discover that there are real people who want to play with us! Imaginary friends get forgotten over time, but at one point they were the only ones who did everything with us and knew every single detail about our personalities and minds.
As I grew up, I remembered my imaginary friends. I could still tell you many of their defying characteristics. But as I grew up, I never lost my imaginary friends- in fact I gain so many more.
You might think “oh the characters you create for your silly little stories aren’t real people, Emerald.” You would be wrong. Maybe they aren’t for you, but when you take your stories as seriously as I do, they are real people.
And to prove this, I’ve gathered some of my imaginary friends with me today.
Right beside me is Bridget. She’s standing tall and looking down her nose at all of my other friends that have threatened to steal her spotlight. She’s alternating between pointing and flexing her toes. She looks around the circle, eyes hard and unexpressive, until she sees Tye. Her eyes light up and she briefly smiles before leaning to look at my computer screen.
Tye’s sitting directly across from me. To say he’s not important to me would be a lie, but in a way he really isn’t. My life could go on if he weren’t there, but Bridget’s couldn’t. And since she is clearly such a huge part of my life, Tye is here, and taking his spot directly in my sightline. No matter where I go or what I do, Bridget is standing beside me, pulling me towards Tye.
Over in the corner are Eternity and Hunter. Their heads bent together over a notebook as they sip their coffee. Eternity’s laugh rings out like bells every couple of minutes. Hunter has never been happier.
Liviana is also here. Her lips are the colour of blood and there is nothing stopping me from admitting that her lips have actually been coloured with someone’s blood. Her eyes jump around the room, but she can’t get anyone to meet her glare. Her eyes land on Tye and Bridget lunges towards her. With one look up from my laptop everyone freezes. Liviana scoffs; it wasn’t like she wanted to be here anyways.
Sarah- you haven’t met her yet- is sitting upright on the edge of a hospital bed. She begs me over and over again to tell her if she lives or dies. Sarah doesn’t know yet, but I do. I know what happens to her, but how everyone will interpret her story’s ending is up to them. Sarah, much like me, will be driven mad as she tries to unravel my brain’s flowchart for what her destiny is.
That’s too much on Sarah for my liking. Moving on.
Ava’s here. She’s smiling, but she isn’t happy. She has yet to admit that she was in love with Scarlet, but if you watch her closely she keeps looking to the door, waiting for when Scarlet walks through and back into her life.
Scarlet isn’t coming though. Ava really hurt her and she knows that it will be terrible for both of their recoveries if she shows up. I’ve been speaking to Scarlet a lot though; she wants to tell you that there’s a lot more than Ava told you.
I’ve only just scratched the surface of who is gathered in this room with me. I may look alone to the common outsider, but I’m not. I can’t be alone with all my friends here. I will never feel alone if Bridget is always correcting my posture or if Sapphire won’t stop whispering in my ears. I’ll never be bored as I watch Josephine try to wrap her head around why kissing Vincent is not cheating. I’ll always be there to help Little Lily find her pink balloon or to warn Becky to carpool with someone else to dance. There’s always going to be someone with me, and for that I am thankful for all my imaginary friends.