"You know that place between sleep and awake;

That place where you still remember dreaming?

That’s where I will always love you.

That’s where I’ll be waiting."

-Peter Pan

        Willow sadly looked out her window into the crystallized night sky. It was nights like these where her mother would read her fables of the past about a boy who never grew up. But not tonight, nor will her mother ever be able to read to her any other night. Today was a day of mourning. Today was Willow’s mother, Winnie Darling’s, funeral. Willow’s eyes gazed down to the patch of dirt where her mother lay just beneath her window.

They couldn’t even afford a proper grave. It was the twentieth century for Christ’s sake, one would think that Willow’s Uncle Martin would have the decency to supply proper burial grounds. But no one cared about the crazy woman who spoke of another world where the things of a child’s dreams existed. No one cared about the complete and utter trauma that a child, of just fifteen years of age might be going through after watching her mother cruelly die in her arms. To the world, Willow would always be the ‘crazy lady’s daughter’. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Apparently, according to the doctors, her mother had something called Schizophrenia, some new mental illness where you saw things that didn’t exist.  Willow never cried when the news of her mother’s death reached her, she never cried at her mother’s funeral, and she wasn’t about to cry now. In her opinion, her mom should have just kept her mouth shut. Then they wouldn’t have taken her away and sent Willow to Uncle Martin’s house. She would have had a normal childhood like everyone else, instead of one in isolation. But her mother was gone now and there was no changing that. All that was left were the many books she used to read to her, books about the boy who never grew up.

Willow scoffed at the thought. Who wouldn’t want to grow up? Growing up for Willow meant finally being able to do whatever she wants, and getting far, far, away from England and all the bitter memories. Willow gently rubbed her finger over one of her mother’s many books. On the cover was a younger version of her mom and a boy, flying off into the stars. Sometimes, if Willow was feeling deeply cynical, she would start thinking of bad things. She would think that her mother resented her life with her daughter and when her father was still around, him as well. Whenever Willow would catch her mother looking out this very window, when she ‘thought’ Willow was asleep, she could almost feel the yearning in her mother’s body. And if she looked closely in her mother’s eyes, there was always a hint of regret.

Maybe this is why Willow hated the very idea of Neverland, because without it even existing, it had stolen the rest of her mother’s love from her. It had stolen her sanity and happiness. Willow grabbed a pen and began to scratch out the boy’s face on the cover. She hated him. She hated him for taking her mother; she hated him for making her go crazy. The tears slowly began to form, but she bit her lip and held them back. She refused to give the boy on the cover the satisfaction that he had effectively hurt her. The satisfaction that he had finally gained all of her mother.

“Hey!”

Willow whipped her head to the window and screamed in terror as she saw the very boy, whose face she had just violently scratched out on the cover of her book floating outside in the midnight sky. There was no mistaking him. His hair was a light shade of brown -as her mother had described many times- with second tones of copper and gold, if he was in the right light. He wore an outfit of all green and his eyes were many different kinds of blue. Mother was right when she said it was impossible to truly discover what the exact shade of blue was before you got lost in the deep sea of his eyes. But what mother had said wasn’t what truly mattered to Willow. What had mattered was that the boy floating outside her window, with his arms crossed and fury in his eyes- was the very boy of her mother’s tales. Peter Pan.

The boy who never grew up, existed.       

Grow up, Peter Pan!Read this story for FREE!