Second star to the right and straight on to morning
I met Peter Pan when I was in middle school. I never thought a friendship would become more than a shared lunch table. I never imagined that our friendship would grow into something I would cherish forever.
We would spend hours on the phone at night. You showed me how to be the good girl who had a bad girl streak. You taught me how to stand up for myself and how to ignore the noise in the background. You did not stay for long, for you often would go away from time to time. “Second star to the right and straight on to morning is where I will be” I always knew that meant that you would disappear for a while. Knowing you would be back and it would be as if you never left, life would be good again. You would listen to me chatter on about what my life was doing. I spent some of the best years of my life standing on the back porch under the stars, chatting with you until the sun was ready to rise. Those middle school years turned into high school years. One last call, and you were gone.
“Second star to the right and straight on to morning is where I will be” I always knew that meant that you would disappear for a while. I knew you would be back.
Peter, you next turned up years later, a chance passing in a store. After all the years that had passed, I was afraid you would have forgotten me. I was not disappointed, and you looked at me with your crooked grin, a smile that reached your eyes, and a little quick wink in my direction. My heart skipped a beat; it was as if no time had passed. We had a brief conversation as if we had just hung up the phone yesterday. I realized that you still had not decided to grow up, and you were not shocked to know that I had grown up.
Peter, it would be years later again, thanks to social media, that our paths crossed again. Both of us married, both of us had our own lives. Crossing paths from time to time, chats and comments showed that we shared a special friendship that was timeless. Our friendship was one that we never made public a mutual decision made years and years ago. Our public friendship was superficial, and our special bond was as deep as the deepest ocean.
Peter, I never thought that I would live in a world without you in it. I can still hear my screams echoing in my head, the tears running down my face. The day my world stopped turning, the day you left it. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces when I heard the news. The laughter, words of comfort, wisdom came back to me. Your voice I could still hear echoing in my head, even from all those years ago.
I flip through the pictures in my mind and pull down memories of you and me from time to time. I have just a few pictures of you and none of us together. I can still feel the warmth of your jacket I used to wear in class and see your crooked smile. You would give me a little side wink during Math or English to remind me it would be ok before doing something to get yourself kicked out of class. Just like when you would leave me, I would always be able to talk to you, just by looking up to the sky. I would find the little dipper and know that you could see it too. That was the thing that we kept from others. You held so much from others, showing me who you indeed were on the inside. You did not need to hide around me.
As the years have passed since you left, even if it has not been that many, I still know that if I need you, all I need to do is step out on my porch, look up and find you in the stars.
Until we meet again, the second star to the right and straight until morning is where you will be—my forever Peter Pan.