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A young lady sat quietly in her blue and white stripped dress, watching the glorious London sun rising over the horizon through her balcony window. The sound car engines and random shouts made by the paper boy could be faintly heard from where she sat. The bakery down the street from her just started making their first orders of the day as she could tell from the sweet aroma of cinnamon blows in with a warm breeze. The morning sun shined brilliantly, reflecting light off strands of her soft, strawberry tinted hair. Her legs folded like a proper lady, she gently brushed her hair behind her ear and rested her face on her hand. She stared hopelessly at the sky like a fallen angel, waiting for god to return her wings so that she may return home.
On the old-fashioned wooden dresser next to her was a framed picture that she often alternates looking at when her attention drifted away from the heavens. There were three adults smiling deliriously, surrounded by a group of wild-looking boys and one small girl with strawberry hair; her eyes were the only one's not focused on the camera, but out the window.
"Ah, to be forgotten," she said, as tear slid down her rosy cheek, "A fate more cruel than death".
An older woman approached the door way, her strawberry tinted hair was not as noticeable anymore, yes if one were to look closely enough, they could spot out a hidden kiss that seemed to be eternally situated on the corner of her mouth. It was undoubtedly the most beautiful feature on her. She stopped with her hand resting on the doorway and stares empathetically at her young daughter who was trying so hard to secretly reject the idea of growing up. She knocks softly on the door.
"Wendy," she said lovingly, "it's time for you to be on your way; your classes will be starting soon."
"Oh yes, of course mother," she replied without turning around to face her, "I'll be down shortly.
Her mother exhaled deeply and entered the room. Walking up to the bed next to her daughter, she sat on the bed nearest the window - Wendy's bed.
"You stare so hard out that window sometimes I think you might just jump out of it one day," Mrs. Darling said jokingly.
Wendy made no reply, not even a slight reaction. Her eyes stayed focused outside and her face now reflected her confusion and frustration.
"Why, boy...why?" she thought to herself.
Wendy's mother grabbed hold of the framed picture, looking at it with fondness.
"I remember this day well," her fingers slid down the glass frame, "my my, was your father handsome."
Wendy cracked a small smile.
"When I think of all the time I wasted, dreaming about what could have been, when I should have enjoyed what I had," Mrs. Darling put the frame down and looked away so as not to show herself welling up. She quickly took control of herself but Wendy, like her mother, could always tell what the other was feeling.
"...I wish I could forget him." Wendy said, breaking the silence.
Mrs. Darling looked at her daughter, sniffling with as a soft smile comes on her face.
"The day you and your brothers left," she said, pausing for a moment as she looks down and fidgets with her hands, "Your father tried to console me and I could not even look him in the eyes."
She rubbed her face and struggled to speak. Wendy's curiosity overcame her obsessive need to gaze out of the window and she turned her attention to Mrs. Darling.
"The first night when I and your father sat in the family room next to the fire place, looking at photos of you and your brother, I cried nonstop. He thought it was because I was frightened at where you might have been, but it wasn't. In fact, I knew exactly where you were, and it was because of that reason, my heart filled with so much anguish." She covered her face with her hand as if trying to hide from something.
"Go on, mother," Wendy' said, her curiosity peaked.
"I began to feel so guilty for the way I was feeling," she said, hands still covering her face as tears ran down.
"What do you mean, mother?"
Mrs. Darling removed her hand, wiped her face and took a deep breath. She looked at Wendy, smiling at her own foolishness.
"I was jealous, Wendy."
Wendy's eyes widened.
"Can you believe it; Jealous, of my own daughter. I spent many nights watching you three sleeping in here - my childhood bedroom - I watched you all with one eye secretly out the window for a wonderful boy who came in through the window one night to take me to a world full of wonder. When he gave me my first kiss, I thought we would be together forever. He always promised to come back for me, but of course he forgot; except for that one fateful night when he came back and took my younger daughter instead. I wanted to tell George everything but I just couldn't"
Wendy got up from her chair and embraced her mother, who in turn hugged her back, sobbing. Wendy finally realized how her mother came to have that hidden kiss.
"I'm sorry, so sorry Wendy," her mother repeated, "Don't spend your life next to a window waiting for a foolish boy like I did".
Wendy did not know what to say, so she just continued hugging her until it was time for her to go.
After Wendy had dressed for school, holding her books in her hands standing at the front door, her mother enters the foyer, holding one of her cleaning rags. A Newfoundland puppy scuffled up to Wendy, rubbing against her leg. She bent down to pet him on his small, furry head. "Goodbye Maxi, see you when I get back".
Wendy and her mother look at each other, smiling. Wendy put down her books and gave her mother another embrace. The puppy circles them, wagging his tail happily.
"I love you mother," she said.
"Don't make me cry," her mother said trying to hold her own, "I just put on my makeup.
Wendy gathered her things and headed out.
"If you see Michael at school, do please tell him to come by and visit" Mrs. Darling says desperately.
Wendy tries to put on a face smile and nods. She knows he won't.
"Ever since you and Michael have gotten your own place, I rarely see him at all," she said in a lonely voice.
"I know mother he's just really busy. He'll come by soon, I know it," she said waving bye to her mother.
The truth is, however, nothing can ever truly stay the same. And this was especially true with Michael Darling. He was not the same small, innocent, joyful, boy he used to be; at least, not after the death of John. Now he was a young man who walking with a certain air of darkness around him. Some days, if given a chance to look closely at his light green eyes, you can see darkness underneath them in the shape of a small hook.
In a dark and quiet corner of a college library, the sound of hard lead scratching away paper was all that could be heard. Michael, in his first year of college, was deeply entranced in one of his newest literary work. Sitting in his little desk, so far into the library that none could bother him, he had one small lamp, shining on his stack of papers, neatly organized in three separate sections. With his sleeves rolled up to his elbows and one hand rubbing the back of his neck, Michael was completely focused on what he was doing - a common trait with the Darling children.
Just then, a young lady in a pink dress and a brown ponytail walked up cautiously behind him, tapping him on the shoulder. Michael, being consumed in his writing, just brushed his shoulders and continues writing.
"Um...excuse me," the polite young lady said.
Michael looked over his shoulder at the shy girl standing awkwardly behind him.
"I was looking for a certain book and was wondering if you maybe could help me find it." She said.
Michael looks at her with a blank expression.
"Your names Michael, right? I'm Sarah, I sit beside you in biology class," she said hoping to get something out of him.
Perhaps it was a good thing that Michael was completely oblivious to the charms of a young woman, otherwise he would not have responded in such a calm manner.
"Oh, yeah you were the one who got a highest grade on the test... Sarah, right" he replied.
The dark room hid well her blushing cheeks.
"Well usually it's you who has the highest score; I just got lucky this time".
"Oh bloody hell," Michael said aggravated looking at his watch.
"What's wrong!?" the girl asked.
Michael quickly gathered his materials, putting them in his handbag. The girl looks at him with her eyes full of concern, trying to figure him out.
"Um, did I say something wrong?" she asked softly.
"Huh? No I'm late for class," he said, rushing out of the library.
"Oh ok... see you later," she yelled waving at him.
"Young lady, control yourself, this is a Library," said the librarian.
"Oh god, I'm sorry," she replied, embarrassed.
Outside the library, Michael walked through the halls of his busy school. The strap on his handbag pulled hard on his shoulder due to the amount of books he carried. Michael stopped abruptly next to a wall posting of a new play being advertized. It was called "The Boy Who Never Grew Up" by J.M Barrie. This man was a friend of the family who Michael, John, and Wendy told all their stories to as children. The story was now being made into a play and just the sight of it was enough to make Michael sick. He gazes at the black and white poster depicting skinny woman dressed in tights and leaves, standing confidently on a bed and three little children looking up at her in awe.
"Michael!" shouted Sarah, running up to him.
She stopped and gathered her breath as Michael looked upon her with confusion.
"Your, pencil," she said, holding out his pencil huffing and puffing.
"...thanks," he replied awkwardly.
Sarah looked at the wall posting and light blue eyes lit up as she gripped her books, crossed armed against her chest.
"Oh yeah, I heard this new play was being held here tonight!" she said smiling at Michael.
Michael was surprised at how pretty she was as this was the first time he saw her in this light. Her gorgeous smile and cute freckles almost made him blush.
"Hey, we should go see it! What do you think?" she asked energetically.
Michael looks back at the poster and scoffs.
"No thanks, the ending is really horrible," he said walking away.
"But it's a new play..." she replied in confusion, looking back at the poster.
"Thanks for the pencil," Michael shouts, waving bye.
Michael entered the student courtyard in the front of the school. There under the huge tree situated in the middle of the yard was Wendy, surrounded by the usual group of her peers. She spotted him from a distance and politely excused herself from their company. She approaches Michael and the two exchange heartless hugs.
"Hey," she said awkwardly as he responds in like manner.
"How've you been?" he asked, struggling to make conversation.
"Good. And you?"
"Just fine," he said.
Silence comes between the two Darlings.
"Mother asked for you this morning".
"Oh? You saw her?" he replied with little feeling.
"Yeah, I spent the night," she said.
"That's right, today is the first day of spring," he said mockingly as Wendy looked around with embarrassment.
"When are you going to stop wasting your bloody time? He's not coming back."
"When are you going to stop acting like a kid and go to see your mother?" she replied defensively.
"Whatever," he said, walking away.
"I thought you had class today." She said following him.
"Go see her, today Michael I'm serious," she commands.
"You know what? If you want to see him so badly, he's starring in a play tonight," Michael snips back at her as he crosses the street.
"What the heck is he talking about?" Wendy said to herself.
Just then, a cab pulled up in front of her, letting some students out. On the front door, Wendy saw the advertisement of the new play opening tonight.
Later on that day Michael arrived at the front door of his mother's house. He thought seriously about walking away as he played with the keys in his hand. It has been nearly a year since he had last been home. He gently placed the key into the keyhole, slowly twisted the handle, and opened the door. He peeked in and immediately spotted a puppy happily wagging its tail, expecting Mrs. Darling or Wendy. Michael looked at it strangely and it ran away, startled.
The door swung open, and Michael, for the first time in nearly a year entered the home he grew up in. For a moment, Michael thought he heard the faint sound of a cock crowing in the distance. However, at this time, he couldn't worry about that. His first thought was as he looked around the house was "My, how quickly things change."