Sunday, April 13, 2014

An "Imaginary Friend"

7 year old Timmy used to shutter in his bed, as his parents would scream threats at each other far into the night.

Hearing those threats, he wondered whether he and his 4 year old sister Leila would lose their home, would the family be broken up and what would happen to the two of them if the family was broken up?

Then one night Timmy's father didn't come home, and his mother angrily told him it was because his father had taken his own apartment and would be living with one of his "whores," a word Timmy wasn't familiar with.

Timmy's mother added, "Don't worry, I've got a lawyer and I'm going to sue that bastard to support us." While Timmy didn't know what a "bastard" was, he knew from his mother's fury that lawyers and a lot of ugliness would soon take place.

Before Timmy went to bed, he assured his little sister Leila he would protect her. But he thought to himself. "Who will protect me?"

Timmy couldn't sleep that night and about the time the clock struck midnight, Timmy heard a voice. "Don't worry Timmy, I'll protect you and everything will be fine."

As Timmy sat up in his bed, his nightlight shined on a man, about 5 feet, 2 inches tall, trim with a bald head except for a fringe of gray hair over each ear, wearing a blue suit, a blue tie and a formal white shirt with gold cuff links.

"I'm William," he said to Timmy with a smile. "And I'm here to protect you and Leila. But she is too little to understand so I won't appear before her and no-one else can see or hear me but you.

"Your parents are going to fight in the courts for years to come and they will do everything they can to put you and Leila in the middle, even at times refusing to pay for your home and refusing to feed you, unless the other one gives in.

"But I will see to it that you have a home, food in the refrigerator and clothes on your back.

"However, from this point on you will be the man of the house, for I will be working through you. And whenever you feel fearful or uncertain you will know that I am never far away."

"Where did you come from," asked Timmy. "A place of Higher Power," William replied. "And under no circumstances will you and Leila ever be forsaken."

As the years passed, true to his word, William was always there when he was needed. Timmy and Leila kept their home, had food to eat and clothes to wear. And while lawyers threatened to drag them into court or to give depositions, each time the courts disallowed it.

Trouble in school? Somehow it got resolved. Threats from bullies? Those too went away. No matter what arose, William handled it. A part-time job, one always seemed to appear. A car to drive, even that happened as an old car came into Timmy's possession.

And whenever his mother would hear him speaking to William, Timmy would just say, "It's okay mom it's just my imaginary friend."

Then on Timmy's 18th birthday William sat down with him. "Timmy, you are a remarkable young man well on your way to success. You have thrived and so has Leila. Now it is time for me to say 'goodbye' as there are other children who need me as you once did.

"But if ever again you need me, please know that I am just a prayer away, and I will always care for your well-being and that of Leila."

"Thank you William," Timmy, now Tim replied as he gave William a hug and then shook his hand. "I don't know what would have happened to Leila and me over the years if you had not been our 'imaginary friend,' invisible to anyone else but me and always there to guide and protect us.

"You will always live in my heart," said Tim as he looked William in the eye, "And you will forever have my gratitude."

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