A Letter to the Lost Boys

Dear Peter, 

I may have called you by a different name. Perhaps you were a stocky blonde or a tall lanky brunette. You’ve come in many shades and flavors, you’ve come in many men. 

Most of the times that we’ve met for the first time, it was at a party. The crowd was humming with energy and laughter and flirtatious glances. My favorite times were at summer bonfires out by the lake. When our eyes met through the flames. With warm light dancing on my shoulders, and warmer light glimmering in your eyes.

One step forward, and then another, the space between us closed.

The chemistry was more than just our bodies. It was the quiet recognition of a potentially equal opponent in the ring.

Peter vs. Tinkerbell.

You knew just what to say, and I’d throw my head back and laugh until happy tears welled in the corner of my eyes. And even though I recognized you at once, by your cocky sense of humor and your own flock of Lost Boys watching us in the background, I didn’t call you Peter, I called you by your name.

No matter how many times I’ve met you. I have always been certain you were different than the rest. Of course you were. You still are. No two snowflakes are the same. No two Lost Boys are either.

But that doesn’t make you any less lost.

Still, you were absolutely stunning. 

Even the Peter’s that were undeniably self admitted assholes, still had a loveliness to them. Perhaps it was even part of their beauty.

You would warn me you were no good for me, and I would just laugh and let you know that you were okay the way you are.

“You’re not an asshole. You just have an aggressive sense of humor,” I said to you once.

Perhaps we kissed that very night. Perhaps we waited months, even years before it happened. It’s happened different ways.

But always first, the thing that “did me in” was the conversation or few that came before the kiss. When somehow I tricked you with honesty, and a dash of pixie dust, into letting your guard down for just a moment. When you dropped your mask and I saw a glimpse of who you really are. When I knew that underneath the games, the flirtation, the career, the friends, and all that constructed the cocoon that kept you safe from being vulnerable; was just a boy. A boy with a story. A boy who had been hurt. A boy who was afraid. A boy whose eyes lit up at things that he loved, not just in the face of beautiful women, or shiny toys, or dollar bills. Oh how I loved to watch you love things. Because it showed me how good you would be at being in love if you finally let someone love you too.

But when our lips finally met I knew that I had lost the game. A game that perhaps was lost before it even had begun.

If only your hands hadn’t set my skin on fire. If only the crook of your neck hadn’t strangely reminded me of home.

At first, when that sinking feeling of surrender hit, I would fly away.

I’d Tinkerbell you before you Peter Panned me.

Sometimes this enticed you to chase, but not for long.  As soon as I would stay still for a second, you would be gone.

This is how it is with you, and with all the Peters that came before you. 

And this is how it is with me, and all the other Tinkerbell teases.

You would think that by now I would have learned my lesson, but I think a lot of girls are trying to catch themselves a Peter.

Because Peter, you are everlasting youth and fairy dust. You are boastful and careless. You are forgetful and fearless. You are a living picture, a painting, a dream.

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” you’d always like to say.

Trying to catch you is like trying to catch smoke with bare hands. Every girl wants to be with you because every girl wants to be remembered by the boy who always forgets, to be boasted about by the most boastful boy in town, to be cared for by the careless. 

We’re all just littler Tinkerbells, swallowing poison to protect you from yourself. Keeping you young, keeping you flying, keeping you free. Asking for nothing in return, because a moment with you seems better than a lifetime without.

And I’m no different than the rest. Just a little flash of wings and light, chasing shadows, clinging to the glitter you left in my hair that night.

But part of me hurts for you. Part of me mourns for you.

Part of me mourns for myself too.

Because clinging to youth, resisting love, chasing money and mermaids, living in neverland forever; in the end will leave you lonely and poor of the things that matter most. 

And if I'm always just a flutter away, it will leave me that way too.

Because Neverland is a make believe place in a make believe fairytale, and you and I live in a real world. A world where we will age. We will grow older, we will grow gray. And all of the things that keep you and I safe will one day be gone. 

Perhaps you will still have lingering Tinkerbells, women still aching to catch themselves a Peter. Pouring love into a man who never dared to learn how to reciprocate. 

But pixie wings can be removed, even birds have a nest they call home.

And fairies like myself need to grow up too.

And the day we do, it won't be long until we meet a man who has learned

that while to die will certainly be an awfully big adventure;

to love will be the biggest adventure of all. 



Somebody's Wendy

Rachel Helen2 Comments