While being captivated in the events of the week that have made their way in the morning’s newspaper, William overheard his son Brady playing outside with a soccer ball. Brady is the young age of five, and you wouldn’t think differently. With short dusty blonde hair, large hazel eyes that stare right through you and being the height of a small kitchen chair, he is a very active and outgoing boy.
Peering up from his crinkled paper to look through the sunlit window, William admired how his son could entertain himself so easily and unlike other single children, never complain to his parents about being lonely. It was a warm Autumn afternoon and the colour of the leaves making their home on the ground made the whole backyard appear golden. Brady’s job was the sweep all the leaves into a pile and he did exactly that, however he also loved to jump from his tyre swing, which was tied to the tall oak tree, into the perfectly bunched pile, scattering the leaves everywhere.
While watching his son play, William noticed that Brady was talking to himself, which instantly made him recall his own past. For some years now, he had blocked out certain memories of his early childhood but overhearing Brady made him remember when he was that age. William was the youngest of five siblings by a few years which made him a little bit of a loner growing up, and alike Brady, he made his own fun when the others were too busy to play. He became nostalgic.
Reminiscing back to the past, he was surprised by how well he could remember his imaginary friends. There was Ace the Superhero, who can shoot off like a rocket when he was called for to save someone and Miny the Mouse who was always very quiet but was the fastest runner in the world. They were his good friends but no one could compare to his best friend Quincy the Purple Dragon. Quincy was always around, even when Miny and Ace were off saving the world. Growing up, even though he had a very happy childhood with his family, playing with those three were his favourite times.
On one sweet Spring morning, Quincy and William were playing in the front yard. Miny the Mouse and Ace the Superhero were hiding so William was working with Quincy to find them. As his father walked out the front door, dressed in his best blue suit, on his way to work at a law firm, William ran up to him in his childish ways, giggling and tugging; asking him to play with them. His father seemed to have had enough of Williams games as when he turned to face William, there was only frustration in his eyes. They sat down on the front step of the house, and William’s father began to lecture him about how unreal his friends were and that his playing habits were not normal. “You’re five years old now, nearly six, so you should start to grow up. No more imaginary friends”. William can still hear his father’s voice drilling those words into him.
After that talk, William slowly began to lose sight of his friends. Miny the Mouse was the first to disappear and soon followed Ace the Superhero. He missed them greatly but he still had Quincy the Purple Dragon. He never thought that his trusty best friend would leave too but sure enough, when Summer came around, Quincy packed his bags and never came back. William was heartbroken for some time but he could see the difference in his father’s eyes when he knew they were all gone.
Williams cheeks began to blush and the strike of embarrassment rushed through him. He put down the newspaper, slowly pushed back his chair and strutted outside to where Brady was playing. He had his father’s words running through his mind and he knew exactly what he was going to say.
Just as he arrived to his spot of confrontation, before he could call out to Brady, the sound of his son’s laughter overpowered him. He watched him play and noticed how much fun he was having. Suddenly he saw himself in his son and realised that he was wrong. His father was wrong. Deep down, there was always that wish that he could have been given a little more time to be a kid so he decided not to say anything.
He slid down on his front stairs with his eyes captured on his son as he played. Brady ran over to where William was sitting and started to explain all about the game he had made up. A smile from ear to ear grew on William when Brady told him that Quincy the Purple Dragon was hiding up the tree.