You were perfect. The golden-curled golden boy with promises grand and seemingly impossible. I followed your shadow, like the centuries old light chasing the star as it streaks across the sky, pure and trusting, if somewhat lacking. Fairy dust and moonlight, and oh the stories! The wind in your hair, the breeze cradling you as you flew, flew higher and further, flew to where I too once belonged.
You believed. With all your heart you believed; believed in me and believed in you and believed in what we could be one day; believed in all the castles and dragons we would conquer and all the glory and honor. And you flew. Higher and further.
Fairy dust floated down when you shook your hair, and there was always some in your ear—they could never scrub you hard enough to get it out completely; no amount of soap and bubbles would wash the magic out. The boys looked up to you—oh how they worshipped you; sweet, bumbling, poor little lost things wanting so much to be what you were…but Lost you called them and lost little boys they were. You didn’t see it; in all your perfection you didn’t see what they weren’t. Didn’t see how they were too young to know it and far too naive, too busy bustling about in the paradise you perfected for them. You were kind and funny—they loved you! We all did Pete. But once the moon peeked out, you flew.
I used to ride the wind with you, all it took was slight Tinkering now and then, and we’d soar above the clouds and dip down again to gaze down upon the city lights. The world laid at our feet and we were both so, so young! But you loved it too much—or thought of going back down with more hatred than should have had place in your tiny, happy heart—I saw it. I saw it the first time I took you along with me and heard you laugh, I saw it and should have stopped—that laugh wasn’t yours, it wasn’t, it was happy and carefree but it wasn’t yours; but before I knew it, I was chasing your shadow. But only because it was the only part of you not volitant in the darkness. Isn’t that funny? That while you glided in the star-strewn dark, your shadow pranced about in the candlelight and no matter how tightly you sewed it on, even that creature of darkness needed an escape from the hollow nights. You loved it too much. I should have put an end to it.
But all it takes is once. And so you flew. Higher and further. Until one day you found a piece of land; glowing with the haloed light of the stardust on its beach. You came back and told me you’d found home. You laughed and it was you again, and I thought you’d come back finally. That maybe you did really find home and realized it was right where we stood. After months and months of you flying into the night, I was finally seeing you and your lovely face with its lovely smile. You asked me for stories, like you once used to long before you flew out to make your own. We stayed up that night, and for once, I wasn’t worrying and you were home.
Fairy dust and moonlight and the next night you were off again. The boys followed you—they would’ve followed you to end of the world and walked right off the edge if you’d let them; but only you and Georgie returned and how he glowed! The boys weren’t coming back. You went every night and came back with stories of pirates and treasure hunts that you and the boys went on. You laughed and asked me to come along. I did. It was beautiful, the island. It was your paradise and the boys were happy. Morning came and I asked you to take me back. You told me you were staying.
Told me you were dying in that world and that you didn’t belong there anymore, were Never coming back—told me I didn’t belong there, not with all my stories and fairy dust. But I did and I came back and never flew again.
I never saw the boys after that one night at the island spent pestering the pirate. But every once in a while, if I stayed up long enough, I would see your shadow, opening and closing the drawers of our room, touching my muddy shoes and the soft sheets, dancing in the candlelight. If I stayed awake long enough, I would see your shadow home. And when you flew in to take that rebellious part of you back and softly crept up to my bed and peered at my face, I would shut my eyes tight. Pretend to not see you and turn around to fight the tear that threatened to fall every time you kissed me goodbye.
P.S I’m sorry you never got to see what we would become, never got to see the dragons and adventures that came long after.