Dearest Peter: A Letter from Wendy Darling to her darling Pan

I love love love metaphors, and metaphors that incorporate fables, mythos or already beloved characters is a bonus. And so I originally wrote this as a writing exercise/what-if situation. It grew wings and flew away from me a little bit, but I wanted to share.

Dearest Peter,

Your Wendy Darling here, waiting patiently at the windowsill again on another sleepless night. Still bewitched by your shadow, although even he hasn’t been around to amuse me lately as summer moons shine bright and then give way to the autumn chill that creeps in a little bit more each day. I tick them off on a calendar on the nursery wall, and cannot believe I’ve still got another month before the real chill settles in.

Tell me Pan, do you really mean it when you say you’ll never grow up? Do you believe it like you believe in pixie dust? I guess that works because it has given you wings of a sort after all. But why, Peter, why don’t you want to grow old with me? Is being a lost boy ringleader such a nom de plume that it bests disillusionment?

Do you remember when we sat by the lake? We shared reality for that instance at least. You took my hand and made such promises. I want to believe in your dreams, Pete, but you’ve never asked me mine. Wendy Darling had so many dreams other than a boy in tights at her bedside, and these dreams didn’t fly away when my feet left the ground to follow you. We make great friends but now you’re asking me to be a mother to your brood. I don’t know that skill. I never learned it somehow.

I see dark clouds on the horizon, the blackest, heaviest clouds I’ve ever seen. Can any ship, even a flying one, get through clouds such as these? What lies ahead troubles me and scares me, because I cannot predict where you will be, nor even my own whereabouts. Especially when you disappear to Neverland for days on end, and I’m left to wonder if perhaps you were only a product of wild imaginings.

You’ve been fighting Hook for so long. This man has left such scars on you. I’m amazed you can laugh at all, facing him so incessantly as you do. My heart is a pixie in a jar because I can see you flying away from me and I’ve forgotten how to rise against the air myself. Where did the magic go? There was a time you’d have reached for my hand and shown me how. I wanted to stay with you in Neverland, but the children back home need me. Besides, we both know Hook is not my pirate to fight; no enemy to me. Take care, Pan, he will kill you if he gets half a chance.

Oh Peter, I’m just not sure what to say when we meet again (And meet we shall, because the world has proven itself to be a small one after all). Will you even know me after I’ve aged and you’ve retained such nubile young grace? John and Michael and all the other boys are no comfort to me. I’m still holding on to the fantasy you promised.

Thirty seems awful far away and yet it’s no further than any of the other stars I see across this night sky. When I’m a tri-decade, will you roost awhile and entertain notions of sleeping a full night and waking with me in the same bed? What do married folk do anyway? Mother and father never could give me illustration on such matters. The term quality time seems cluttered and obtuse. I can’t seem to hold a clunky idea like it too long in these lily white hands. Will we fly like we used to or only have someone there to reminisce the sensation being aloft gave us each in our turn? Or would our union only produce little Pans that will quietly go into dark Neverland and not return again? Youth swallows some whole.

Dearest Peter, these are things Wendy Darling wants to know. But I’m used to your absence by now, and know I’ll perhaps never know that much of you. Just know, it does not decrease your mythos for me. But, I think too, perhaps it is time for one of us to grow up.

Love always,

Wendy

(Thoughts? Comments? Please do share.)

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