JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME
I was walking through the
Wal-Mart, searching for a trashcan for my
yard, and there she was: my imaginary
friend from 30 years before.
She seemed exceedingly pleased to see me,
greeting me just as one would always hope
and expect to be greeted by a long-lost
"Oh, my living
stars," I said. "Youre
What about you being real?"
she said. "I thought I dreamed you
up back there. I mean, you were really
brave, jumping off tall buildings and all
that other stuff you did with me."
I laughed. "No, you
were brave! You told my recess teacher
not to yell at me again. That was far
"We were something
else back then, us two, you know?"
She dipped and twirled and shimmied as
she stepped aside to let a shopper pass
us in the aisle.
Then, "Well, but
how come my mom and dad could never see
you, then?" I asked. "Nor that
teacher eithereven though she never
yelled at me again."
"And my mom
and dad couldnt see you,
either," she said. "They just
laughed and said how fun for me to have a
friend that only I could see, then I saw
them wink behind my back."
I pulled a trashcan off
the shelf and put it on my head. "I
cant see them either, ha ha
Stella. I heard her faintly through the
can. "I think I was adopted."
said. The trashcan smelled like
Elmers glue. It echoed in my head.
"My real parents
were imaginary," Stella said,
"so then I got adopted and had way
too many parents."
"Oh," I said.
Stella. "A lot of people dont
know that about me."
I took the trashcan off my head
and followed Stella to her house, a
street and place Id been to in
We walked the walkway
curved around her yard. Abruptly,
something hit and pushed me into a bush.
"Ow!" I said.
"What was that??"
yelled. "What in the world?! You go
help her up, right now!"
I got up out of the
bush (it was green and smelled of tea)
and saw a teenage boy, bewildered, cross.
"Help who up, Ma? You crazy
now, or what?"
"Oy," I said
to my best friend of old.
"Were STILL imaginary friends,
"Oooh, this is so
great!" she laughed. "I love
imaginary friends, dont you?"
"Ma?" her son
circumstances warrant, through her
Turquoise Pen column NoŽl R. King,
Scottsville, Virginia, reports on strange
and wonderful things, including friends
imaginary and not.