Amazing Kids! Magazine

Imaginary Friends

By Yesenia Soria, age 15, California


March 23rd was a bright, sunny afternoon. Everything seemed calm and peaceful. Well… mostly peaceful. The obnoxious screech of moving trucks driving through the neighborhood blasted through the air. The trucks quickly parked outside the Johnsons’ house. It was moving day…a day everyone had been looking forward to, everyone except the seven-year-old girl, Jacky, who wasn’t nearly as excited about moving.

Jacky was the youngest out of the three children. There was Marvin, who was fifteen, and there was Tiffany, who was twelve. Jacky was very hesitant about moving. She knew she would have to start at a new school, and she knew she would have to make new friends…but those concerns were the least of her worries. Mostly, Jacky was worried about feeling lonely. In a last-ditch effort, she went over to her mother and tried to talk to her out of the move.

“Mom! Mom! Mom! Can you please listen to me for a second?” Jacky begged her mother. “I really don’t want to move! Can we please stay?” Jacky pleaded.

“I’m sorry, honey,” Mrs. Johnson said, and tried to console her daughter. “It’s too late. The moving trucks are already here. But trust me, Jacky! This move will be great, I promise!”

“How is the move going to be great?” Jacky asked stubbornly.

“The house that we are moving to is closer to my job. That means I’ll be home more often.” Mrs. Johnson explained to her daughter. She checked her watch impatiently. “Now can you please go finish packing, sweetie?”

“Yes mommy, I’ll go finish packing.” Jacky replied, a fake smile plastered on her face.

Mrs. Johnson smiled. “All right, that’s my girl. And sweetie, when you’re done packing, just put your box outside. The moving guys will put the box in the truck.”

Jacky trudged into her room and finished packing the rest of her toys. Once she had finished, Jacky grabbed the box with one hand. She took one last look at her empty room. Then, Jacky walked out and closed the door behind her.

“Is everyone ready to go?” Jacky’s father, Mr. Johnson, yelled.

“Yes,” everyone cheered. Everyone except for Jacky.

Soon, the whole Johnson family piled into their white BMW and was off to their new home, a house located in a place called Pine City. The city was most famous for its pine trees, which surrounded the city. It was the perfect fit for the Johnson family. Everyone was super excited to explore the new city they would be living in, and they wanted to meet the people there.

Everyone was happy… of course, everyone except for Jacky. She was sulking in the back of the car, still upset about moving, even though she tried to be happy.

Then the moment finally came. They had arrived at the new home. Mr. Johnson parked in the driveway, and when the car came to stop, the Johnson family bolted out of the car and rushed to the front door.

Jacky lingered behind and took her time. The house was an undeniably beautiful two-story, yellow as the sun and with hexagonal windows. A concrete path trailed to their black front door, which had a striking, gold doorknob. When Jacky finally reached the door, her dad stood in front of it. With one hand on the doorknob, he chirped, “Welcome to your new home, everyone!”

Jacky had to admit: it was the perfect home for them. While Mr. and Mrs. Johnson stepped out to meet the moving guys, the kids scrambled up the stairs, eager to see the 2nd floor. The house had four bedrooms and one master bedroom. It also had three bathrooms, two of which were located upstairs.

When Mrs. Johnson reentered the house, she heard screaming and shouting. She instantly knew it could only be one thing: Tiffany and Marvin, fighting over who got the bigger room. She calmly walked up the stairs and found that she had been proven right. As she entered the room, Tiffany and Marvin were at each other’s throats, up against each other’s faces, squabbling so loud they could be heard throughout the entire house. Meanwhile, Jacky sat in the corner of the room, silently watching them argue.

“It’s my room because I was here first!” Tiffany shouted.

“Doesn’t matter! I’m the oldest, so I should get the bigger room!” Marvin retorted.

“OK, that’s enough!” Mrs. Johnson snapped. “Quit fighting! Neither of you will be getting this room anyway!”

“Then who is going to get it?” both Marvin and Tiffany asked, shocked.

“Jacky will be getting this room because she is the only one who’s not fighting over it,” Mrs. Johnson decided. “And that’s final.”

At first, Tiffany and Marvin were a little bit upset, but they quickly got over it. Now, the main focus was trying to unpack everything.

Jacky sat on her bed in her new big room, unpacking all of her boxes. As Jacky unpacked, she dug out a picture of her and her friends hanging out at her old school. She teared up a little. Jacky missed her friends, her school, her old house…everything that was familiar.

She would begin her new school in a couple of days, and she was understandably nervous. So many thoughts were going through her mind: What if the kids didn’t like her? What if she couldn’t make new friends? These thoughts started to make her feel lonely and nervous.

Jacky continued to unpack all her clothes and her toys when she heard her mom say, “Lunch is ready! Come downstairs to eat.”

The house was filled with the rushing footsteps descending from the 2nd floor. It was Marvin, Tiffany, and Jacky coming down for lunch.

“So what’s for lunch mom?” Tiffany asked curiously.

“We are all having grilled cheese sandwiches,” Mrs. Johnson said with a smile. “Tiffany, can you please set up the table for me?”

Once Tiffany was done setting up the table, the whole family sat down. At first it was really quiet and awkward, but then Mrs. Johnson broke the silence. “So what does everyone think of the house?”

“I really like it, Mom, it’s so much bigger than our old one,” Marvin and Tiffany said.

“Well that’s nice.” Her mom turned to the foot of the table and smiled. “Jacky, honey. You’re a little quiet over there. Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Jacky muttered.

“So what do you think of the house?”

“Oh, it’s fine,” Jacky answered with a touch of attitude. “I like the old house better. You know, the one closer to all of my friends.”

“Jacky, I thought we talked about this. This is a new start for everyone and, as I told you, I will be home more often since work is closer,” Mrs. Johnson reasoned. Exasperation filled her voice. “Sweetie, everything will be great once you make new friends.”

“But…” Jackie stuttered. “But…but I’m not happy here, Mom,” she insisted. Tears filled her eyes. “I want to go back home.”

Before her mom could respond, Jacky stormed out of the house, into the backyard. Her eyes were now brimming with tears. She was equally upset and angry. All she wanted was to go back to her old house and be with her old friends.

Once her rage had subsided a bit, Jacky realized how tired she felt from the long day. She laid on the green grass in the backyard. Her eyes started to close—she tried to keep them open, but she was too tired. Once her eyes had closed, all of her thoughts from the day kept repeating in her mind. Even the conversation she just had with her mother ran through her mind once more.

Suddenly, she felt everything snap into focus. It was as if all the thoughts in her mind had merged together into one big blur. When Jacky got up, she felt like something was different, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint what. Jacky stumbled back into the house, expecting to see her mom…but instead she didn’t see anyone. The house felt empty. All the boxes were there, but her family wasn’t.

“Mom? Dad? Are you here?” Jacky asked cautiously. Her voice wavered.

“Tiffany, Marvin?” Jacky laughed nervously, more out of fright than out of humor. “Come on, you guys! Is this some sort of joke? Please come out.”

Jacky searched the entire house, desperately looking for the rest of her family. She was rewarded with…nothing. A big bowl of nothing with a side of disappointment. It was as though her entire family had vanished.

Jacky screamed, “Mom! Where are you? Please come back! I don’t want to be alone!”

She looked all around her. There was no sign of Mom or anyone. With a sunken heart, she realized that her wish had come true. She was alone.

Jacky went back, inside the house and up to the 2nd floor. She ran to her room and closed the door. Immediately, tears flowed out of her eyes like a river. She felt like she was in a nightmare and she didn’t know how to get out of it.

Out of nowhere, there was a knock at the door. Jacky jumped up and ran downstairs as fast as she could. She got up to the door and took a deep breath. Jacky opened the door with a smile, expecting to see her mom, but instead…instead it was a boy about her age.

He said, “Hi Jacky, my name is Henry. Nice to meet you.”

At first Jacky was wary, but she thought that Henry seemed nice and so she let him inside.

“How do you know my name? Who are you? Where did you come from?” she interrogated him.

“OK, you already know my name, which is Henry. And I’m seven years old,” he answered. “The reason why I know your name is because I’m your imaginary friend and I’m here to help you with the issues you’ve been going through.”

“I didn’t even know I had an imaginary friend,” Jacky said, slowly and disbelievingly.

“We all have imaginary friends inside us,” Henry reassured her. “People like me come out when you need us the most.”

Jacky was happy to know that she wasn’t completely alone. She then started to tell Henry a little bit of what was bothering her. Jacky told him about how her family had just moved to a new city and how she would have to start at a new school soon. She also told him that she was afraid that she wouldn’t make new friends.

Henry began to talk. “It’s OK to be afraid. Everyone is afraid of something. It takes a lot of courage for someone to face their fears. That’s why I’m here for you. My goal is to help you tell your worst fear.”

“I guess my worst fear is not being able to make new friends and feeling lonely,” Jacky said.

“Making new friends is actually not that hard,” Henry told her. “Be yourself and everything will be fine. If you try to get to know that person, after a short time, you’ll have a friend. And as for feeling lonely, everyone feels lonely. Be confident in yourself and know that life will work out.”

“Thanks so much for helping me, Henry,” Jacky told her imaginary friend. “I feel better and think I’m ready to go back to my family now.”

“Alright. Are you ready? Close your eyes and count to 10…” Henry ordered.

When Jacky had finished counting to 10, she opened her eyes and realized she was back in her backyard. She ran into the house where she saw her mom washing dishes and gave her a big hug. At that moment, her mom knew that Jacky would be able to be happy in Pine City.

Three days had passed and it was now time for Jacky to begin her new school. Jacky was so excited, and Jacky’s mom was happy for her daughter.

Once they arrived at the school, she gave Jacky a kiss on the check and said, “Good luck.”

Jacky hopped out of the car, took a deep breath, and walked right into her new school.

Instantly, a boy her age ran up to her.

He introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Max. I heard that you’re the new student. Do you want be friends?”

Jacky smiled. “Yes, let’s be friends.”

From that day on, Jacky was happy. She never felt lonely ever again. All it took was a little help from her imaginary friend.