Not Peter Pan

Written by: Fatiha
Illustration by: Amira

The perfume bottle is tipping the dressing table, the dishes are piling up, the room is a shipwreck. Everything is about to either fall and shatter, dirt the white interiors, or appear unsuitable to cohabitate with. No boundaries, no curfew, no restrictions. The steer is on your hands. The key to the control room belongs to you. 

I left town just briefly, enough for one hand to finger-count the days I’ve stayed here. With strolls around the city and park visits during school breaks and random sleepovers to the room next door in mind, I jumped and danced for the day I hadn’t seen yet. “I thought, It should be jumpy and dancy and all fun once it came, right?

Alas, reality always knows how to slap you the hardest: when you expected the most. 

At this point, you’re like a bird freed from its cage. It’s terrifying to know you may flap your wings too far from a perch. At this point, you’re your own puppet master, and you’d realize as evil as one may look, it’s tiresome to hold many strings at once, being a beginner at that. At this point, you are the lone lighthouse in the middle of the angry ocean waves. 

I guess Peter Pan made perfect sense after all. “And remind me again, why did we spend years of our childhood longing for the day we become ‘adults’?” I vented on and on rushedly, if I went on longer my phone screen would get wet from the waterworks of my mouth.

My earphone got tangled with my chargers, I quickly tried to release it and plug it into my phone. God, help, I muttered to myself. I tapped my dimming phone screen. I stopped moving my hands all over the place and sat down by the bed. I suddenly stopped feeling sorry for myself (and Wendy from Peter Pan, too) for growing up. I scanned the mess circling me and voice my thoughts, “You know what, I sort of like the idea of being in a shipwreck shook by the waves– maybe a ship with a little wreck, not so wrecked–, or scuttling through my room in mornings when the memory of setting alarms magically disappeared the night before, like now.” 

There’s this nice and tickly feeling about it, I nodded and confirmed to myself. I plugged the hearing device in and walked to class.

I’m no Peter Pan, both fortunately and unfortunately, and my world is no Disney, so there’s never flying to Neverland. I figured, It’s not going to hurt to ridiculously laugh and have fun while walking on this Everland. 

“You know, it’s fun, adulting or whatever.” I told a friend from home in yet another random homesick call. This time after class when the sun is setting. 

On a broader and more serious note, I’m a few days in and still playing all charades about this. It’s all a blur, what’s in front of me, but clear enough to see it’s facing me head-on. Just like the sequence of thought– the perfume bottle, dishes, and messy room are. Plus, they are looming over me.

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