I wear sunshine on my lips and stars on my nails. My hair is a garden of roses that blossoms in a different color every morning. I drink galaxies for breakfast and use ribbons of moonbeams sprinkled with comets as laces for my shoes. My eyelids are the wings of hummingbirds and my skin, the velvet blackness of night seasoned with stardust. My breath is the scent of wildflowers and magic. And I wear music as jewelry around my neck.
You’ve known me as the dreamer who lives within you and the creativity you lost as you grew up. I helped you discover your imaginary friends and whispered in your ear to create your own world. I replaced your ordinary eyes with kaleidoscopic diamonds and your nightmares with dreams of flying. You still see me in children: the five-year-olds who pray to the Easter bunny and the eight-year-olds who wear rose-colored contact lens, viewing the world as a big bundle of joy where everyone is happy. You wish I’d never left you when your parents fought and got a divorce or when your first love broke your heart into pieces. You think I faded inside you little by little every time your teacher said you’d never amount to anything in life or during those sleepless nights when you felt unloved and believed you no longer belonged anywhere.
You wish you could trade all your ‘growing up’ for just one more day of staying a child. To feel my soft fluttering kiss on your salty, world-weary cheeks as I lead you once again into the world you created and then abandoned. And to help you rediscover the pirate ships and treasure chests hidden in scudding masses of clouds. To just be a child again, nothing else.
You think you outgrew me when your turned thirteen when all your friends seemed more interested in their own bodies than your fairytale stories about flying imps and green-skinned witches. You let the world turn you angry, cynical and disappointed. You learnt that not all people are good and that rainbows don’t really lead to leprechauns’ pots of gold. Growing up had changed you and you blamed me for letting you down.
With every day of disbelieving, I was vanishing within you until one day I was nowhere to be found. Your head full of dreams wilted as real-life responsibilities mounted on your shoulders and left you on your knees. Soon, I became just another tattered memory you remembered occasionally on bus rides back home and sighed at.
But one evening, you stop to look at the moon. It is deliciously glowing and hangs crescent in the sky. You casually envision a Siamese kitten sitting on the inner curve of the moon with its kinky tail waving at the stars. And just like that, you hear me laugh. That laugh you hadn’t heard for years; that laugh that still rang with innocent delight and childlike wonder.
I say to you, “Remember, I’m the dreamer within you. The bottle of rainbows in an ocean under a rainstorm. The sweet clusters of dew in a field of parched grass. You’ll never lose me, you just have to find me. But I’m always there.”
You then realize you’ve been wrong this whole time. It wasn’t me who had let you down, but yourself.