He doesn’t need me anymore. He wants me, but he doesn’t need me. That’s why I have to let him go.
Let’s go all the way back; to when I met the kid who changed my life forever.
My name is Emerson; I am a Guardian. A Guardian is a spirit who protects their assigned kid. Each Guardian specializes in a skill to help the child find themselves. I specialize in creativity.
I glanced at my fellow Guardians as the particles filling up my body disintegrated-when the matter of my body joined again, I was with the kid I would spend 3-5 years with. The kid that would rely on me for advice, guidance, and friendship. And though I didn’t know it back then; the kid that would change my life.
Once I was fully rebuilt, I was greeted with the image of a 3-year-old. He was crying. He sat in the corner of a room that was seemed to be covered in drawings of poorly drawn people, streaked lines of crayons on the wall, paint on the carpet, and toys scattered about the floor. “I wish that someone liked me,” it was small and quiet, but noticeable.
“I like you.” I replied. When he turned around, I was immediately changed into the appearance of a 3-year-old. I had blond hair with a purple streak. My hair held in two pigtails and I had bright blue eyes. I was wearing a purple dress that was knee length with short-sleeves. It had tule on the bottom for the skirt, and a ribbon tied nearly into a bow in the back. I guess this was what his dream friend looked like.
I could see the confusion in his eyes and hear it in his voice. “Who are you?” He had messy brown hair and green or hazel eyes. There was a strong sense of... something... that I had never felt before.
“My name is Emerson.” I extended my right arm to lift him to his feet. “I am your imaginary friend!” He took my hand and pulled himself up. His face made this wrinkled expression, one that I was all too familiar with. “I am a friend that is only in your head. No one else can see me but you, and I’ll always be around you, so you can play with me if you get bored.” His face softened from the confused expression that was plastered on his skin into a sweet smile.
“So, I made you?” He sounded partly curious and partly excited.
“Yeah!” It was a mostly true statement. I usually don’t try to explain too muc. It seems to be too much for them.
“My name is Portland Grant! Nice to meet you Emer-win.” I didn’t correct him, he is the youngest kid I’ve ever had.
“You can call me ‘Em’ if you want.”
“Ok! Hi, Em!”
I giggled at his excitement, “Hi!”
When Port was 6, I was ready to part with him. I’ve had around 4 kids before him, none of them have lasted this long. One day I asked him, “Port, is it time for me to leave you yet?”
“I don’t want you to leave!” he seemed so hurt. That night, while he slept, I went back to my dimension, where all the other, waiting Guardians were. I asked my leader if I could stay with him. They reluctantly agreed, but said I must keep more of a distance.
When I returned, I told Port and he was upset that we couldn’t talk as much, but happy that I was staying.
We sat on the bed as I asked him about how he was liking school.
Port had changed his mind about my appearance, due to seeing other girls at school, rather than the fantasy and unrealistic ones on television. Now I had my same hair, but I had bangs long enough to be swept to the side. It was straight down and around mid-back length. I wore a purple shirt with a printed black heart in the middle, with a black skirt, still knee length.
During school, he would constantly be doodling, he would ask for extra notebook paper and hand me some so that I could take notes. Ever wonder where your pencils go? Well, lets just say, that I found lots of “missing” pencils during the year.
I of course didn’t need to take notes. I was a spirit, already fully prepared. Instead, I drew with him. To others eyes, the paper was blank, but both Port and I could see the pages were filled with pictures of him, of me, of us, or of other various objects. Like I mentioned before, I specialize in creativity and expression, and I saw great potential in Port when he drew. Even 5 second doodles had a story behind them-and Port could explain them all.
When Port was 9, he was caught talking to me at recess. The kids laughed and teased him. I wanted to be able to stand up for him, and even though he’d be able to see it, I couldn’t change anything.
He walked over to the swings and left the swing next to him for me. It didn’t look like the reserved seat was moving, but it was. We both swung as high as possible. In his dreams, we flew above the city and looked down on his school.
I started communicating even less to him in public. I wasn’t sure how long this could last.
My appearance was pretty much the same, but I obviously looked older. Port however, wore glasses now, he would wear sweaters and jeans. He looked cute! (No, not romantically. That’s not allowed. And... Ew.)
Port was the smartest in his class. Granted; they were in 3rd grade, it’s not too easy to judge. However, he made all A’s and rarely ever made lower than an 90. In art class, he would make the most amazing projects. My work definitely paid off.
When middle school started, Port was 12. He still has his glasses, and now wears a button up shirt that was usually plaid. I had a purple sweater that had a heart patch sown on the top left. I kept my black skirt, and now my hair was an ombre of blonde to purple and was kept in a medium-high pony tail. (Port has a great sense in fashion...)
He was getting excited for his end of the year birthday. May 23. Port still somehow maintained excellent grades, and now we mostly just hung out at home.
It’s present time now, and Port’s birthday is 16 days away. He is going to be 13 years old. That will mark almost 10 years of knowing him! It’s been fun to be with him this long. I see Port walking out of class with a girl. My body is shaking. Not of jealousy. But, of the feeling, ‘this isn’t true.’, or ‘it’s not real.’ If anything was’t real here, it’d be me. I’ve seen the girl around school and in the class before. Portland hands her an invitation before walking over to me. “Her name is Raigen, she is so nice!”
“And pretty.” I tease. Portland turns beet red.
“I-Uh-Um-You-It- I-Ughhhhhhhhhh...”
“Are you okay?” I laugh loudly, if other people could see me, it would be distracting.
The day before Port’s birthday, I explain everything to him.
“My name is Emerson Hews. I am a Guardian. A Guardians job is to protect and help guide a child to find who they are. We are more actively known as ‘imaginary friends’ because only the assigned person can see us. We do what they ask (within reason), we look and act how you want us too, and are faithful friends. Most Guardians only last 3-5 years. We have lasted nearly 10 years. Although you enjoy me, I am hurting your future. You don’t need me anymore. You might want me, but you don’t need me. That’s why I have to let you go. If I stay with you, I will be harm to your health. I might already be. As a Guardian, it is my job to love you with all my heart for the time being. I’ve never loved one of my assigned people as much as I love you. You have grown into an amazing person, and I will hate letting you go. But, you have found a potential girlfriend, you are literally 9 hours away from being 13, and you have found who you are. You have to move on, and I do too. Tomorrow I will leave and return to my dimension. I will miss you.”
Port is crying. I am crying too.
His birthday comes, and though he seems to be be happy, I make him forget about me so he can move on. He sits on a bench with Raigen and as if for one single second he remembers me, he says, “Goodbye.”
- Epilogue-
10-15 years later I am assigned my new child. (Time actually passes pretty fast in my dimension.) Their name is Emerson Grant. I try not to think too much of it. But as I fade again, the apparent thought crosses my mind.
It can’t be a coincidence.
But what if it is? Don’t put yourself up for disappointment.
I regain my form in a room painted lavender. There is a child that is around 3-years-old sitting in her room drawing. I am weirdly enough switched to my 12-year-old form when I rebuild again. There are two parents sitting on two rocking chairs, clearly dragged together. The mother has red hair and brown eyes. The father has messy brown hair and green or hazel eyes. Right as Emerson Grant turns around and starts changing my appearance, the father looks straight at me. “Emerson?”
The End.
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