A not-so-imaginary friend


by Annie Spratt

Everyone called her unfriendly, but Lily was just a shy girl, different from the rest of town. She had only one friend, a friend that no one would ever understand, one who meant the world to her. She had made the mistake of telling her classmates about this “friend” of hers. An imaginary friend? How crazy. Lily didn’t know when exactly they had met or what struck the bond, but what she did know was that no friendship could ever be stronger than the one she had.

But even if no one cared about her friend, named Teddy, she still loved him. He had kind, non-judgemental hazel eyes, swept-back curls, and a charming smile. Sometimes he was in the shadows, sometimes right next to her, sometimes talking to her, but always there. Little did Lily know, Teddy was actually a ghost, not just some made-up imaginary friend like what the neighborhood had drilled into her mind. He was scared to reveal it to her, afraid she would run away like most others. Because there was no such thing as nice ghosts.


Thursday. The day before Halloween. Lily slumped down on her mocha-colored sofa and sighed. It had been another rough day at school. She would’ve quit a long time ago if it hadn’t been her parents’ dying wish for her to continue…

A moment later, she heard a knock on her door. Lily smiled, finally able to distract herself from her parents. She saw Teddy run in, as excited to see her as she was to see him. She was relieved, knowing he would find some way or another to cheer her up. But he was unusually quiet. Lily fidgeted nervously, feeling awkward from the silence that filled the room.

But this time he wasn’t there to cheer her up. He took a slow breath, looked up, and said, “I’m afraid we won’t be able to see each other again after this. Tomorrow is Halloween, and there is someplace I need to go. I will be trapped, in some place where I will never be able to interact with humans again. ”

The words came at her sharp as if he had just stabbed her in the chest. Teddy tried to console her, as he always did. You knew you would eventually have to let go of me. His consoling didn’t calm Lily down at all; she felt like a wrecking ball, a fiery flame burning in her heart.

She would have no one left. No parents. No real friends. Not even her imaginary friend anymore. Tears welled in her eyes, racing down her face. The realization took her aback. It wasn’t supposed to end this way.

Lily felt a tap on her shoulder. She didn’t have the energy to hear anything more. Her world had already fallen apart. What more could happen now? “I’m a ghost.”


Maybe she could kill herself. She could spend the rest of her moments with her soulmate. As if Teddy had read her mind, he spoke “Please, don’t even think about it. Spend your life happier. You’ll be fine without me. And definitely don’t do it tomorrow, or else you’ll be stuck in Halloween forever.

But Lily wasn’t listening. She knew that at this point, she had no value in life: no friends, no family, no hobbies, and no goals. She was only living for Teddy. He was the only purpose in life.

On Halloween day, she scrambled around, desperate to find Teddy, but he had truly vanished. In despair, she went through with her plan, rejoicing with her mother and father, whom she both dearly missed. Lily was almost oblivious that she was trapped in Halloween, as she was there, enjoying every day with the three people she loved the most.