Petyr had always been a lonely kid.
“Come, Varys,” he said, as he ran back into the yard. He was clumsy, and it was a muddy day, so it was not a new thing for me to see him down in the mud within a split-second glance.
“Petyr, get up,” I called out to him.
“I can’t, Catelyn. I think I’m stuck.”
I dragged myself over to him, not minding my pretty shoes turning dirtier by the trudge. I got his arm and helped him out. He grinned at me wildly, and turned towards his back. “How can anyone be stuck in mud…” I muttered to myself.
“Varys,” he whispered. He quickly stood up and started looking around. “Varys?”
“Petyr, what are you doing?” I asked him. He seemed to be starting to throw a fit. “Petyr?”
“Cat, Varys, Varys is not here!” He shook me, before turning his back on me and started on grappling everywhere.
“P-petyr… Mom! Cecille! Mom!” I shouted as I ran back into the house. I tried finding my mother, she always knew what to do with Petyr. She went out, forgetting to mind my ruined dress, and attended to Petyr. The next thing I knew, he was in his room, on his bed, mumbling his imaginary friend’s name over and over again. “Varys…” he chanted. That night, I dreamt of his whispers.
Petyr is my mom’s friend’s son. His father was a pilot, and his mom was a model. They broke up, thus breaking Petyr in the process. Petyr is still whole, Cecille would tell me, but I can see that he’s not. Mom’s a child psychiatrist, so I might be right. But at times like this, I keep hoping that Cecille be right. Sometimes, I get tired out of the things I think about.
The following day, we went to the park. There were lots of kids, but it was awfully boring. Petyr was quiet the whole morning, just sulking at a bench.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Waiting,” he answered.
“You do know Varys is imaginary, right?” I said. It wasn’t about bursting his bubble, but it is about bursting his bubble. His psychological bubble.
This is going to be hard. “Imaginary is what you call those beautiful things that happen so unrealistically but aren’t actually real.”
“Is that something like Mom?” he asked.
“Are you telling me Mom’s not real?”
I thought about it. “I guess so. Can kiss your mom right now?”
“How about Varys, can you kiss him right now?”
He chuckled. “You’re silly. Why would I kiss Varys? He’s a bear.” Well, that’s that. He smiled. But then, his face turned sour. “But I hold Varys’s paw. Also Mom’s hand. Now, I can’t hold them.” He started crying. The noodlehead.
I reached out and held his hand. “Come with me.” I pulled him to his feet, and we ran. We ran. Past trees, past kids, past adults, we ran. It seemed like a long run, and I felt my legs giving up. They were almost jelly when we got there.
The zoo was brimming with people, but we made our way through. Monkeys, rabbits, snakes, the zoo had almost everything my books tell me of. They should have a bear, right? We zigzagged through everywhere. At last, we found it.
A brown, furry ball was curled up in a corner. I was sure it was a bear because it had a picture on the label. Only the picture wasn’t sleeping and the bear was. We sat by the glass, staring at the furry ball.
“I know that Varys isn’t real,” said Petyr. I didn’t say anything. “But it would be fun if he was, wouldn’t it?” He turned towards me and smiled. I smiled back and kissed his nose, and we just sat there, waiting for the bear to wake up.
It didn’t. Or at least we didn’t get to see it. A few hours later, some guys came and took us, and Mom was crying and hugging us and scolding us and the next thing I knew, I was in bed. I laid there awake, listening to a man came and go, knowing that it was Petyr going away with his Dad. I close my eyes, and dream, a vivid dream, unrealistically real-er than that afternoon. It was a dream where a boy meets a bear, fully awake, and grinning the same grin the boy grinned. In the dream, the boy was whole, and everything beautiful was real.