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TITLE : My Imaginary Friend
Written By: James H. Wilson
Date: © Copyright, April 7, 2005

Don't we all see someone who's not really there, sometimes? When you dream, aren't you asleep? The open mind of the child, I dreamed it, I saw it that way. I never shared it because it was after all, only a dream. I never told my dad, never told my mom, my dreams were always just mine. They had a lot bigger things to worry about than my dreams, I knew that, somehow, at the time. They had bills to pay and mouths to feed including mine.

I woke up in a cold sweat on a late spring morning. I could still feel the sand warmed by the sun on the bottom of my feet, and I opened my eyes knowing I would still see the girl swinging back and forth on that swing. I would still hear the birds singing, around 3:00 p.m. and the squeaking of that old swing, starting to rust out in a few places. I didn't care about the rust. I was having too much fun watching her swing higher and higher.

Her pretty blond hair was like one of the girls in school, (who I thought was cute, but I was young). She was swinging higher than I ever had. I thought I'd have to try that. I thought maybe she was older than me, or where ever this place was they just did it that way there. I was standing behind her left side so she never knew I was there. I watched, I thought it would be fun to have a swing in my back yard like that one was in hers.

Just when I thought about going around to her front side where I could say 'hi' to her, she tipped her head back and saw me there. When she came down she jumped out and fell to her knees, and turned, and stared, stunned. Just for moment, the longest moment of my life, our eyes locked. It seemed like the world stood perfectly still, I don't even remember breathing. I just remember how she looked like one of God's angels, the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. I was so awe struck, so frozen in place, but time hadn't really stopped. That swing had gone turning to and fro and of course it had to come back down while she was still locked in on me off to the side. She didn't realize it was coming for her. It hit her in the chin, and that's when I woke up. I knew that she was all right, because it was after all, just a dream.

That wasn't the first time I had seen her. No the first time I had seen her by a camp fire, and she said "I found you" and smiled and was gone. That wasn't the last time I saw her either. One night, one cold winter morning as it was actually, I was standing by that same swing in the afternoon, facing her this time. I said "High, I'm Jim." She said "No you're not, you're Sam." I stuck my tongue out at her and smiled and ran, and she ran after. We played a little, we talked a little, she smiled that amazing smile and I woke up to find the snow had come through the wall on my bed. I thought how warm it was in that bed under seven blankets, and I wanted to keep on dreaming. I didn't want to have to pull my frozen pants and shirt in there with me to put them on.

I only had to go through the door to the other room to be warm. I took my coat with me shivering till I got next to that pop belly stove. I was glad somebody had put fresh wood in and got the fire up. You didn't want to stand too close when it glowing red a little, you could get burned. Or worse set yourself and the house on fire, I was always careful about that. When I felt warm enough I would make that quick trip to the outhouse. One thing about winter you didn't have to look for snakes or bugs, you just couldn't set all the way down or you'd stick.

The time flies on by when you have great dreams like mine. Every now and then I would dream I was there playing with that beautiful blond haired blue eyed girl. We played 'jacks'. We played on the merry-go-round, she would push and try to get me to fall off but I held on tight. She skinned her knee a couple of times. I loved to watch her when she jumped rope, she was so very good at it. I would sit in the sand, the warm sand, and watch her swing back and forth. Back and forth higher and higher 'till the chain would pop a little and we would laugh, and I would wake up with a smile on my lips happy to be alive.

When I hit about eleven I guess I had grown up too much or something. I don't remember having any more dreams about my imaginary girlfriend. I remember a few times trying to dream about that girl again but I just could not find her out there in the dream world. She was so real I still to this day remember her laughter, her blue eyes, her hair blowing in the wind when she would swing back and forth and all the fun we had. She was my best buddy. Everyone should have at least one best buddy in their life. I'm so glad she was mine.