Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »

His Imaginary Friend

“His Imaginary Friend” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Kabidenova Adina Maratovna, Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Pavlodar, Kazakhstan.

His Imaginary Friend

He heard voices of his parents from the kitchen and once again get convinced that adults never understand anything. Voices became louder and louder and then turned into screaming and shouting.

–Won’t you talk to them? - asked Nick.

–There’s no sense in that,-answered the boy.

The boy’s name was Keith and he was 9. At his age, children usually play in the street, ask the toy helicopter for Christmas from parents and want to become astronauts in the future. But it is impossible to call Keith an average boy. He has been very weak since he was born, and half a year ago doctors told that he has about five months to live. A heartbreaking announcement, it was a grief for his parents, and they took him to all the doctors of the country –no result. For a boy it was not so shocking. You may think that he just does not understand the seriousness of the situation. But he does.

He has already lived for 2 weeks longer than the promising time, and his parents still have hope deep in their hearts. Keith has been in bed for about a month, and his only company was his friend Nick.

The adults keep saying that Nick is just part of his imagination. Firstly, they gently explained it to him. Then they started to strictly forbid talking to him. Now they almost start to panic just hearing the name Nick. Despite this, Keith continues to talk with his “imaginary friend”.

–Why do they say that you do not exist?

–Adults do not understand much, my dear friend.

–Can I ask you a question?

–Of course.

–Am I going to die soon?

An “imaginary friend” only pursed his lips, saying “Yes”with this gesture.

–What will happen after death? The boy continued asking questions.

–Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to this question. Someone says that people go to heaven or hell. Others are convinced that there is nothing after death. Some people think that they will simply reborn in another body.

–Will you be with me if I reborn in another body?

–I do not know, my dear, -answered Nick with a sad smile.

After a long silence the boy said:

–I'm not afraid to die.

–It’s weird, usually people are afraid of this.

Keith has always wanted to be a brave boy. He is much smarter than boys of his age. Too smart for his age. He is more intelligentthan many adults, but they try not to notice it. Adults do not like to admit that in the world there is someone who is smarter than them.

And now Keith is not lying, he is really not afraid of death. To some extent, he has always been ready for it, which is not good for the child, but it is just the necessity for Keith.

–Are you really fictional?

–I think you know the answer…

Small kitchen, dim light. The woman and the man, who don't love each other anymore, but continue to live together because of their dying son. Both of them still believe that he will survive. They will never be able to accept his death. They clearly remember his first steps, they vividly remember his first words, how he was running in the superman's costume for Halloween, how he was laughing at silly jokes and how he was listening to fairy tales for the night with a genius interest on his face. And soon he will be gone…

These people always argue with each other but they actually blame themselves at hearts. Both of them think where they have been mistaken, that they might have done things differently. But they cannot change anything.

Today they have argued again. And after they have calmed down, the woman said:

–What on Earth have we done to face such a situation??? -and she burst into tears with pain and grief, cried softly at first, and then more and more sadly. The man could not hear her cries: he hugged his wife and started to cry.

–Is he going crazy? It is the only explanation of the fact that he has imagined a friend for himself,-says the man- But now it is not important. Let’s organize a farewell party, we will buy some gifts and we will invite his “friend”. We can give him a little bit of happiness before… the death.

From these words have made parents feel even more upset and depressed. But they have pulled all their strength and come into the room of their son.

From the distance, it seems that the boy is lying with his eyes closed. But having approached closer they have noticed that their son, their treasure has forever gone to the world of dreams. Maybe one day Keith will meet a new friend there. And the “imaginary” friend stays in the room looking at the child’s body, feeling very lonely…

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