“Once you’re grown up, you can’t go back.” Said in the voice of a person who I never saw again. I wonder how he and Tink are doing? And the boys, I wonder how they’re doing without a mother figure. And Hook….well he can rot in the ocean. Oh to be fourteen again going on adventures with Peter, Tinker Bell, and the other Lost Boys. John can stay back since he’s “too mature” for childish gam-- “hello, miss. Are you there.” I’m brought back to reality by a hand snapping in my face like I’m some sort of dog.
“Hello, miss. We’re here to see Max Hook. Can you help us?” The man in an ugly brown trench coat asked.
“Oh, of course sir. What’s your last and I’ll call Mr. Hook to let him know you and your wife are here.” He gave me his name and I told him that his lawyer is ready to see them. “Have a good meeting. His office is down the hall on the right, straight on till the end.” I smiled at the couple. They both looked at me like I just unveiled some sort of crazy conspiracy about the Vietnam War.
“Okay, thank you.” The woman said before ushering off her husband. I heard the old man mumble, “these youth hippies these days. That mary juna or whatever it’s called makes me sick.”
“Not as bad as the clothes they’re wearing. Did you see her dress? It looks like a toddler painted it.” The women said. They both walked down the hall and I waited until they were out of ear shot.
“What’s wrong with my dress. It’s a Shiri Mor original.” I huffed and looked down at my new dress. It was bright yellow, brighter than the stars at night. And there were flowers with a beautiful pink shade. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think if they saw the matching shoes, then they would appreciate my style. My shoes are the same color yellow with a pink puff ball on the top. Rude people. I guess they were taught to be nice to strangers.
I went back to work. Filing papers, answering calls, making appointments, and helping people whenever they came in. It was a long day and I was ready for a long nap. The more I kept filing papers and taking appointments for Davidson and Hook Law Firm, the more I kept daydreaming about the adventures I had back in Neverland.
After what feels like forever, it was time to leave. I packed up my things in my cross bag and headed to my one bedroom flat just up the street from my work. It was 5:00 PM. Skipping down the sidewalk, like I did when I was physically a child, I hummed the tune to the Red Man. “What made the red man red? What made the red man red?Let’s go back a million years--” I stopped after I bumped into a little girl. She looked to be around Michales age after our trip to Neverland. I smiled down at her.
“Hello,” I said sweetly, “are you lost?” She didn’t say anything, she just nodded her head.
“Do you need help finding your parents?” I asked and again she just nodded her head.
“Well, you’re gonna need to talk to me so we can find your parents. Where was the last time you saw them.” She still didn’t speak. She just pointed behind her, through the crowd of overly dressed people. Well they’re no fun with their outfits, are they.
I looked back at the little girl and said, “give me your hand. We’re going to find your parents one way or another.” We walked into every shop we could. Flower shops, candy stores, bookstores, all of them. Not one could help us.
It seemed like a long time before she was getting tired and I promised Edward I would be meeting him for dinner. She tugged on my arm and looked up to me.
“Yes, what is it?” I asked her, out of breath and a little annoyed. This is why I could never have my own children, no matter how much Edward convinces me to.
“Do you think we’re gonna find them? I don’t wanna be an orphan forever!” She looked as if she was gonna cry. I needed something to cheer her up. I looked around, worriedly as I thought of something she may like. Candy? No, we passed that shop. Toys? No, a little too expensive. I looked in my bag to see if there was anything useful. Okay, I have lipstick, my sunglasses, walet, pens, ah ha! I got it. I pulled out some random paper and the pens but stopped until I heard sniffling and whining. The little girl was about to cry.
“No, no, no, no. Please don’t cry love. We’re gonna find your mommy and daddy, I promise.” I tried to reassure her like I did with my brothers. At this point, I’m a professional.
“How do you know that? I don’t wanna live in an orphanage for the rest of my life.”
“I don’t think that’s how it works.” That didn’t help her, that just made her cry harder. “Okay okay, we’re going to find them. We just need to have faith, trust, and pixie dust.” I threw my hands in the air like I was throwing actual pixie dust in the air. I thought she would love that. I loved it when I was with Peter in Nederland, although I never fully understood why Tinker Bell didn’t like me at first. I know she was jealous, but I never understood why.
I was right, she loved that! It was the first time I saw her smile since I found her. I knew we were getting strange looks from other people walking. Sorry for trying to make a little girl less sad.
“Honey, we’ll find your parents. Can’t you tell me anything. Like where was the last time you were with them? Or what they look like.”
“Well, my mommy has blonde hair like me. And my daddy has brown eyes like me.”
“Okay, that helps a little bit.” That doesn’t even help at all.
“Oh and we were eating lunch at a sandwich shop.” That's better.
“That’s better. What kind of sandwich—” I got cut off by some crazy woman yelling.
“Look Richard, there’s Tilly! Oh thank heavens! Till, you can’t just run off like that. You could’ve been taken!” She pushed me aside and strangled her daughter in a hug. I was beyond relieved her parents found us before we went on another wild goose hunt.
“Matilda Louise Evans! Don’t you ever run away like that again, do you hear me?” The father shouted.
“But I was chasing a butterfly. It was leading me to butterfly kingdom.”
“I don’t care what you were doing or where your overactive imagination was taking you. You do not leave your mother’s side.” She looked like she was about to cry again. I would hate to see her cry again. It was just her imagination.
“Excuse me, sir? Please don’t be to hard on little Tilly, she was just using her imagination. I’m sure she didn’t me—” before I could finish defending the little girl, he threw his anger on me.
“And who the bloody hell are you telling me how to discipline my daughter. Your generation needs to mind their own business. Why don’t you go listen to your hippie music and leave us hard working people alone!” I wasn’t going to be talked to like that.
“Excuse me sir! I was the one helping your daughter find the two of you! I made sure she didn’t get lost anymore or hurt. You should be thanking me!” He raised his hand and was about to say something else until his wife, holding little Tilly stepped in to help de escalate the situation.
“Thank you so much for keeping our little girl safe. I don’t know what I would have done if something happened to her.” She hugged me and I gladly accepted.
“You’re very welcome ma’am.”
“You must be good with your own children.” She’s not serious is she? How old do I look to her? I had to laugh. I might have laughed too loud, because they looked at me like I just escaped some sort of mental institution.
“Oh, I don’t have children,” I told them.
“I’m sure you plan on having two or three though right? I mean, how else would you be so good with children?” The lady asked me.
“Well, my boyfriend wants some, but I don't think children are in my future. I have two younger brothers.” Why did they look so disappointed? They look like my parents when I told them I was moving in with Edward.
“Such a shame for this generation, especially this generation of women. What happened to the traditional women who stayed home and took care of the children?”
“I don’t know dear. It’s almost as bad as the music they listen to.” They walked off with Tilly before I could walk away.
Well their parents never taught them how to act towards other people, especially the husband.
“The music I listen to isn’t that bad. They’re just old.” I walked off with my head held a little low, but that didn’t break my stride. I had to walk back in the other direction and that’s when I heard a dig from a clock above me. The clock read 6:00PM! It’s been that long?! Edward must be worried about me!
At this point, I was running down the street, back in the opposite direction where I was supposed to go. I was trying not to run into people, but it was hard when everyone is walking back from work or to dinner.
“Watch it lady!”
“Excuse you young lady!”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!” I was trying to remember my manners, but my main focus was trying to get back to my flat. I ran into someone who had a ton of papers and they went everywhere.
“Excuse you! Watch where you’re going!” He yelled at me.
“I’m sorry sir. I would help you, but I’m late and my boyfriend might be worried about me.” I said looking back at me. ______________________________________________________________________________
I finally got to the entrance to my apartment. I was out of breath, sweaty, and panting like a dog. I started up the stairs. All four floors. When I made it to the fourth floor, I was completely out of breath. I walked in to see Edward standing at the stove stirring something in a medium sized pot. What in the world is he cooking? Oh no, I forgot I had to make dinner tonight!
He turned around and he was wearing an apron. He does look so cute.
“There you are! I was getting worried about you Wendy! What happened?” He asked.
“Oh, Edward it was so bad and so weird at the same time. It started at work with this gosh awful old married couple who came in an…” I went to explain the insanely weird day. From the rude couple at work to the little girl who got lost to her disgusting father. “Ugh it was just terrible Edward.”
“Are you sure you aren’t over reacting darling?” He smiled. I smiled. He knows how to make me smile. By using my last name as a joke.
“You do always know how to make me smile.”
“I know, it’s my speciality.” He went down to kiss my cheek and the water from the pot started to overflow.
“Oh my! Edward!” I yelled.
“I got it dear. You are a better cook than I am.” He ran over to the stove and turned down the stove. Apparently he was making spaghetti with red sauce. He plated the food and I grabbed a bottle of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion red wine for us to share.
It was a pleasant dinner. We talked more about Edward’s day and how his co-workers are alway goofing off, but still getting paid more.
“It’s ridiculous. If my boss would actually see who’s working and who is just running around the print shop like children running around in the woods, then we would be able to buy a house."
“Just like the Lost Boys. Oh they we’re just the cutest little boys.”
“What? Who are the Lost Boys?” Edward asked me. He looked confused. I looked up. He doesn’t know who the Lost Boys are?
“You don’t know who the lost boys are?” I asked “You mean you never went to Neverland with Peter and Tink? My brothers and I did?”
“Wendy, I don’t know what you’re talking about? What is Netherland?”
“Not Netherland Edward,” I had to roll my eyes, “It NEVERland. You don’t know?”
“No, I don’t dear. Is that some country or city in Europe?” He really doesn’t know. I thought all kids went to Neverland at some point. I’m completely shocked.
“No it’s a magical place where kids don’t grow up. I would have stayed there forever, but I decided to go home so I can grow up and be with my parents. I choose my family. But I will always believe in Peter Pan and Neverland. That’s something I won’t forget. Even though Tinker Bell and the Mermaids didn’t like me that much, I still loved it and miss it. I think of Peter everyday.” I sigh. The memories of Neverland and our adventures keep flooding into my mind. I just miss Neverland. Peter never came back.
We both sat there in silence. It felt like there were 100 eyes on me rather than the two from Edward.
“Well, I think the wine might be getting to you dear. I think it’s time for bed.” He picked up both glasses with one hand and both plates with the other.
“But Edward it’s true.” I tried telling him. I don’t think he believes me. I don’t think he was able to go on these amazing adventures like I did.
“Maybe you can write a book about these ‘adventures’ in Netherland or Neverlend or whatever you call it. You and your brother must have been insanely imaginative. Didn’t expect it from John. I always expected him to me the more...mature one out your other siblings.” He started doing the dishes and I was in utter disbelief. I got up and walked to the sink.
With my hands on my hips and standing behind him I said, “It happened. It’s true and whether you believe me or not, it happened.” He laughed. He actually laughed at me. I can’t believe it.
“That’s a cute story. Try to remember it when we have children. I’m sure they’ll love it!”
“Fine, I’ll remember my ‘story’ if we ever have children.” Before he can comment about how he would love to be a father and how it would make my mother super happy if we did, I walked to our bedroom and proceeded to get ready for bed, leaving him to clean up the kitchen.
“ ‘Cute story.’ he says. Hmph. Just like my parents and even my little brother, who were there. They’re just stories to him.” Throwing my hair up in a bun I head to our bed and get in.
Laying on my side, I turn off my side lamp so he knows that I’m asleep when in reality I’m just too mad to sleep. I face away from the end of the best. A few minutes later, Edward walks in and I close my eyes and pretend as if I was asleep. Just like I would when I was a child, the same thing I did the night I went to Neverland with Peter and Tink.
I refuse to say anything, even after he kisses me on the cheek. He mumbled something, walked to the bathroom and the faucet started running. Once he got into bed he said “Good night darling” and turned off his bedside lamp and actually went to bed.
I can’t sleep. He just made me so mad, I can’t focus on sleep. I really wish I had stayed in Neverland. Tink and I had just started getting along too. I could’ve gotten along with the Mermaids. I really should get to sleep, I have work in the morning.
After twisting and turning, trying to get some sleep. I just gave up, got out of bed, grabbed my robe, and went to our living room.
I opened the double door window, just like I had in my room when I was a kid, sat down on the mini couch we have, and peered out. Just like the night Peter took me and my brothers home.
It was a cloudy night. The street lights were on and the wind was blowing softly. The bugs and small creatures were out for the night to find their food. Nocturnal animals were talking to each other and the smell of the night was overtaking, but it wasn’t bad. It was probably because of the pink and red roses I planted here or just because my mind is wandering around like the Lost Boys following the leader.
Following the leader, the leader, the leader, the leader. We’re following the leader, wherever he may go.
I might have not been there for that, but Michael sang it all the time. When we would go to the grocery store or walking our St. Bernard Nana to the park. It was always something he sang until a few years ago when he claimed he was ‘too mature’ and ‘too cool’ for that. Then he started singing songs from the Beatles. Like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club and A Hard Day's Night. Songs that are ‘cool’ and ‘instyle.’
Maybe I shouldn’t have left Neverland. Maybe I should have stayed. Maybe I wasn’t 100% ready to grow up. I love Edward, but sometimes he can be a little stuck up. Like how my father is. A big gust of wind flew through the sky, knocking over the pink roses onto the sidewalk. Oh no, my flowers! They look so sad just laying there.
There was something about tonight. Something. But I can’t put my finger on. The stars and moon spoke louder to me tonight. They are definitely shining brighter than normal. Especially the stars. All the ones on the right. It was like they were telling me to never forget. Peter’s voice rang through my head. “Never say goodbye, because saying goodbye means going away, and going away means forgotten.”
“Trust me Peter, I’ll never forget you.”
And with that, I drifted off to sleep by the window again. Only to have Edward find me and wake me up for work. Then starts another day of being grown up.