1 | memories
And that’s my home where dreams are born,
And time is never planned.
Just think of lovely things,
And your heart will fly on wings,
Forever in Never Never Land.
Every morning it was the same as it had been for the past few years; the fuzziness of slowly waking up followed by that familiar pang of melancholy. In the beginning, Wendy wasn’t even sure where it came from, that feeling in her chest that she was missing something. Something important.
On the morning of her eighteenth birthday, the feeling was accompanied by a name. Neverland. And with that one name, more and more started coming back to her, bits and pieces of memories slowly stitching themselves together. The adventures she and her brothers had had there. The Lost Boys. Tiger Lily and the natives. Captain Hook and the pirates.
How could she have forgotten Peter? Thinking back, he was the first boy that she really loved, and yet he had somehow slipped her mind. Still, he had forgotten about her. It took her some time to realize this, but she remembered him promising to come get her for every spring cleaning, and as hard as she tried, she could not remember ever returning to Neverland with him.
What she could remember was waiting for him. In the spring, she used to wait at the window for Peter to come get her. Every night she hoped that he hadn’t forgotten, and when she could no longer pretend that it was still spring, she would be disappointed, but hopeful for the next year. After about three years of fruitless waiting, she had given up.
She had loved him, and he had forgotten her.
Then she had grown up, or at least, had wanted to and had acted as if she was. High school began and the memories of the boy who never grew up were pushed to the back of her mind.
Wendy smiled as she drove up the driveway of her childhood home. Little had changed over the years, it was still the same small gray-brick house with light blue doors and window shutters. Maybe she could get some more answers here, it was at this house, after all, that all her adventures in Neverland had begun. She grabbed her duffel bag and purse from the passenger’s seat and stepped out of the car. As she made her way to the door, her mother came outside to greet her.
“Wendy!” she said, enveloping her in a hug.
“Hi, Mom,” Wendy replied, embracing her mother tightly.
Inside Michael was happy to see her. “Hey, Wendy!” he exclaimed, jumping up from the couch where he had been watching TV and running to give her a hug.
“Hi, Michael,” Wendy said, smiling as she hugged him back. Releasing him, she asked, “Where’s John?”
“I’m right here,” John said as he came down the stairs.
“John, you’ve grown!” Wendy said, seeing that John was now almost a head taller than her.
Happily reunited, the three siblings made their way upstairs, Michael insisting on carrying Wendy’s duffel bag for her. In the hallway, Nana, the family dog, slowly ambled her way toward them. At nine years old, Nana was not as fast as she used to be. The three children petted the dog and then continued to the bedroom.
What had once been the bedroom they all shared when they were younger was now the bedroom that Wendy used when she was home. While she was away, Nana had the entire room to herself.
Michael managed to lift the duffel bag up onto the bed and sat down beside it, breathing heavily. Wendy went immediately to the window and opened it, inhaling the fresh air as the breeze played with the light green curtains.
“Do you two remember?” she asked, staring into the distance out the window.
“Remember what?” John asked from where he stood by the door.
Wendy turned around and looked at her brothers. “You know, Neverland.”
Michael and John looked at each other. “You mean the game we used to play,” said John.
“And the stories you would tell us, about Peter Pan and Captain Hook?” Michael added.
“But they weren’t just stories,” Wendy exclaimed, confused. Could they have forgotten? “don’t you remember, we went there, to Neverland. We lived with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. We rescued Tiger Lily from Captain Hook and the pirates. I pretended to be the mother and Peter Pan was the father.” John’s eyebrows rose slightly, and Wendy frowned at him. “Then we were kidnapped by the pirates and Peter Pan and Tinkerbell rescued us. Then we went home.”
Michael’s eyebrows were wrinkling together, like he was trying to remember something but couldn’t put his finger on it. John just shook his head. “I remember playing those games, where we pretended that those things happened, but it wasn’t real Wendy. Neverland isn’t real. Peter Pan isn’t real. And there’s no such thing as fai-”
Rushing towards John, Wendy clamped her hand over his mouth before he finished his sentence. “Don’t! You know what happens when you say that!”
John laughed. “Okay, now I know you’re messing with us. I don’t have time for this, I have practice in half an hour.” He shook his head again and left the room.
Wendy turned imploringly to Michael. “Come on, Michael. Surely you remember something?”
He looked at her with his wide blue eyes and slowly shook his head. Wendy sighed and sat down at the chair by her desk. Michael slipped off the bed and ran downstairs.
Shaking her head, Wendy looked out the window from her seat.
Come away to Neverland.
Come with me where you’ll never, never have to worry about grown-up things again.
It was evening, Wendy sat at the window, watching as the sky got darker and the stars began to slowly appear.
You won’t forget me, will you?
Me? Forget? Never.
What a liar he had been. Maybe he didn’t mean to forget her, but even if he had only forgotten her accidentally, it just proved that he was just a little boy. And he would always be a little boy.
Come away to Neverland.
Oh, if only she could, but the only way to get there was to fly.
Fly. Wendy stood up.
Besides, I can’t fly.
I’ll teach you. I’ll teach you to jump on the wind’s back, and away we go.
What did she need to fly again? She scrunched her eyes shut. She needed... to think happy thoughts. Her eyes flew open and she scrambled onto the bed. Happy thoughts, that wouldn’t be too hard.
Closing her eyes again, Wendy thought about Neverland, about swordfights and flying through the clouds. She took a breath and jumped off her bed, launching herself into the air parallel to the ground, blindly trusting that she would be held up by her thoughts.
Thump! Wendy groaned as she hit the ground. “Ow!” she exclaimed and rubbed her right elbow.
“Everything alright up there?” called Mrs. Darling from downstairs.
“Yeah, I just... tripped!” Wendy called down. She sat against her bed and frowned. What had she done wrong?
Pixie dust. She needed pixie dust.
Where on earth was she going to find that? Wendy ran her fingers through her long brown hair. This was getting more and more complicated. The only fairies she had ever seen were in Neverland, and she wasn’t even sure if there were fairies here.
However, English folklore was filled with stories of fairies, and if there were fairies and mermaids in Neverland, maybe those stories were true as well.
Wendy knew what she had to do. She had to find a fairy, or at least some pixie dust.