Disclaimer: I own nothing but this story.
I had thought it'd be horrible to leave Neverland. I thought the vivid color would fade away as my eyes grew weary and old. I had believed that the mermaids, Indians, and the pirates would slice away in my memory. All of them, even the constant ticking of an alarm clock, would vanish to nothing more than a dream. A haunting remembrance.
But I was wrong.
Neverland never faded away. On the contrary, it burned deeper into my mind everyday, nearly choking me with all of the What Ifs? What if I had stayed in the place of never changing? In the paradise of never ending nights and never fading suns. What if I had stayed with Peter Pan?
Would I be a child, even now, like a doll's body fit to be played, yet have my mind grow old with the "grown-up" worries and fears? Would I still know how to love, to remember everything I knew, everyone still so special to me, yet have them forget who I was?
Here I sit, my old wooden chair creaking each time I rock back and forth, back and forth. The hypnotic sound takes me to the place of more than twenty years ago, when I had loved another that could not, would not love me back.
Was what I had now not enough? Wealthy, loved, cared, and desires all filled. Did I not have it all with treasured friends and family, something that a pirate like Captain James Hook could never trick me into burying? I am such a selfish child at heart…
When I look back, however, it was I who had gained something that day I had chosen to leave Neverland. Peter may be young forever, but I have a husband, a soul mate, a child that is loved, my mother and father who would look for me until I was found. What did Peter have? A silver kiss and a jealous fairy?
Sometimes I still think Neverland is not real. That I had told the story so well to John and Michael that I had believed it myself. That I was so angry the day I introduced Hook to them that the character was already formed and that the boy who never grew up was just a wishful thought, an escape from my aunt's burdensome requirements of a young lady. John believes so. Michael just thinks I was a wonderful story teller when we were young and that it was all just dream. He was too young anyways…
"Mother!" cried Jane, my daughter. She was sitting by her window, finishing sewing back her dress.
"What is it, dear?" I inquired.
"There was a boy! Outside! His face was at the window!"
My breath got caught in my throat as a heard what Jane told me, frightened as she was. Why was my heart racing? It could be any old boy, a robber, a runaway.
"What did he look like?" I asked, in a near whisper.
"I...I don't know! All I saw was a face then a shadow…Mother?"
I crossed the room to where Jane sat and threw open the windows. The crisp cool air flew inside when it had the chance. The wind buzzed in my ears, yet I paid no mind. Where was the boy?
"Where, Jane?" I hissed urgently, trying to conceal my excitement.
"I think…MOTHER! LOOK, THERE HE IS!" Jane nearly squealed. Yet, I saw nothing. And then, in that moment, I knew. I had grown up. Twenty years ago. Peter Pan was no longer my adventure, my story. He had forgotten me and moved on toward other windows and toward other stories. I must move on, let my daughter go on her adventure, and let Peter continue the spirit of youth in all of us.