If Al said she never think about that crazy guy she met that one afternoon, she'd be lying. No matter how hard she tried, he was all she thought about. No matter how preoccupied she was with her life in college. But he was always there. In the corner of her eyes, in the back of her mind. He was there. With bright colorful hair and dark blue eyes. Sometimes she swore she could hear his voice. No, not the cheery one. The deep, heavy voice. Yet she hadn't seen him again. She had walked that narrow path every day for quite some time but he wasn't there.
Until that day.
Al saw a balloon floating above her as she walked the same path she walked yesterday. And the day before. And the day before. A bright red balloon. Al didn't want to follow it, but it went where she went. Almost like him.
Exactly like him.
Because there he was. At the end of the path, with his hands behind his back, a mysterious smile on his face, and his colorful outfit. Al didn't expect to see him, but now that she did, it almost felt.. familiar.
"Hello," he greeted.
Unsure, Al stayed quiet.
"Oh, don't act like we don't know each other, now." he started his last ritual, moving around, circling Al like a carousel.
"I still don't know your name." Al stated.
and with that, he stopped, grabbed her hand without giving her time to react, and pulled her.. upward. Or downward. Or sideways. Al couldn't decide which way they were moving. She felt her head spinning. Her body was tingling all over the place. There was a sense of suffocation in her throat, her heart began to pound really fast. She closed her eyes, but she could still see hints of colors from all over the place. A shade of red. A touch of blue. A sparkling yellow. A splash of magenta. Everything. She spun, she spun, she pun.
And she stopped.
She felt gravity began to take hold of her. Her arms were throbbing. She must have hit some kind of pavement.
"Open your eyes." a deep, heavy voice whispered in her ear.
Al obeyed. She didn't expect what she was seeing. A land of balloons. Of rainbows, of rain. Yes, it was raining something that looked like paint, but didn't tint Al's body as it hit her.
He helped her up. Al saw the pavement she hit. It looked like a dance floor.
"I," he began leaning away from her, making the floor glow as he stepped on each tile, like in one of Michael Jackson's video clip. "am your wildest imagination."
Al looked around. She saw a desert of canvas on her left. With mountains of charcoal pencils, trees that looked like paint tubes. In her right was a stage, with full band instruments. They smell funny, though. Like... vanilla.
"I am your simplest thoughts, your most childish wishes." he approached a grand piano on the stage. Stroke a note, creating blitzes of multiple shades. "I am your craziest behavior. Your complicated life."
He moved around again, lights followed his every step. And so did she.
"I am your sanctuary. I am your remedy. I am your pillow." he stopped short, in his typical way, and started walking toward her. "I am you."
"But how could you be me if I am me?" Al asked.
"How could you be you if I am you?" he responded. His cheery voice began to fade. His rigid posture softened. It was almost as if the colors in his clothes were fading. He took Al by the hand, guided her to the nearest hill facing the canvas desert. A tree of paintbrushes standing tall behind them. He asked her to sit down with him. She obeyed.
"I am your deepest thought, Al. I don't exist unless you think of me. I am here to help you." he said.
"Help me what?"
Al took a deep breath, and as she let go, she drew her eyes off of him, to the sight in front of her. The grand masterpiece of colors, of shapes and sounds, and smells. "What else do I need to understand?" she whispered, feeling the urge to choke back the tears that were about to come out.
"Me." he answered gently. "Call me whatever you like."
Al fell silent for a while. "Peter?"
He smiled cryptically. "That sounds catchy. I'll be your very own Pan."
They were silent. They were silent for quite some time. Al was enjoying the cool breeze against her face. How it made her feel like she was underwater. She embraced the smell of sugar and vanilla in the air. The touch of soft grass on her hands. The marmalade sky. It was her sanctuary. It was her wildest imagination. The world of the abstract. Of possibilities. Every possibility on earth, and beyond.
"How can I come back here?" she felt tears running down her cheeks.
"Think of me." Peter put his arm around her shoulders. His deep, heavy voice was beginning to get very gentle. "I'll always be here. This is my home."
Al closed her eyes.