Dark circles under his eyes and lines that filled the contours of his face completely hid the age that should have been twenty-five. Ambition – he remained focused in achieving his goals that he neglected himself of life’s comforts.
What were the things that men value in life? Prestiges, money, honor – it was said that without these one’s life would never be complete. Focus, he told himself as he now affixed his signature on a five-page document.
He stood up from his chair and stretched his weary arms.
“I need a cup of coffee,” he whispered to himself as he moved towards a nearby table. A sleepy head tends to make mistakes while doing his job.
“I think you need a break,” came a little voice near him. Startled, he almost dropped his cup and felt the hot splash of liquid on his hand.
“Ouch! Who the heck are you?”
His head automatically tilted to the direction of the voice. However, he found nobody around.
“Over here. Beside the coffee creamer.”
Warily, he followed the instruction and saw a thumb-sized creature on the table.
“What are you?” Unbelieving, he creased his eyes to confirm whether he was just imagining things. Then, he remembered the story of Gulliver and his encounter with a being known as a Lilliputian. “You’re not a Lilliputian, are you?”
“Nope. I’m an Abercromb. I came from Nottingham. My name is Meridian.”
“And what are you doing inside my office? Did my secretary allow you to enter?”
“Secretary? What is that? Anyway, I came here to fetch you. Come with me.”
“What? You want me to come with you? I am currently in the middle of an important business. Get out. You are disturbing my work.” The lines on his forehead are clearly pronounced now.
“Mr. Rosenduff, I came here with a purpose. I am fetching you. Here, take this.” The creature handed him a flower half of its size.
“What is this?”
“It’s a forget-me-not. Eat the pollen grains. We have a long journey ahead of us.”
“You want me to eat this? Who are you to order me around?”
The creature then let out a blast of electricity from its hand. “Follow me or suffer.”
“What the? Okay then.” Frightened, he immediately swallowed the grains that tasted pleasantly sweet. It reminded him of his favorite candy when he was a child. Suddenly, flashes of his innocent and carefree days came to his memory. Ah, he suddenly realized how his youth was robbed by time.
“What is this?” A smile now formed in his lips. He then felt his body getting lighter until he was a few inches above the ground. “What the heck is happening to me?”
“Forget-me-not grains have amylthelase, a formula that helps you remember long-forgotten memories. Do you know the principle of levitation? It’s a phenomenon that happens when a man is completely in a state of bliss and relaxation. That explains why you are floating. Now that you are ready, let’s go. ”
Puzzled, he just stared at Meridian.
“Don’t just stare at me. Move. You can fly with me now to Nottingham.”
They then traveled across the skies and felt the cool rush of wind upon their skin. He was now as free as a seagull! Mr. Arthur Rosenduff, the executive, is Peter Pan now!
It only took them a few minutes before they saw a floating valley among the clouds with a breathtaking beauty no mortal eye has ever seen. A crystal clear waterfall completed the scenery. There were pixies and leprechauns and characters he remembered meeting in his old storybooks. Laughter and merriment filled the place intoxicating him with that peaceful ambience he felt during childhood. Déjà vu – he automatically had that feeling that he had been here before.
Meridian beckoned him to come closer. “Arthur, welcome to Nottingham. This world is open for children and grown children who have forgotten their youth. I once brought you here when you were young. But I doubt if you can still recall that one.”
“Arthur! You came back!” Three little fairies appeared before his eyes as if they expected him.
“Do I know you?” He asked shyly, unaware that everybody’s eyes were fixed on him.
“So you did choose to grow up, didn’t you?” One fairy blurted out the words as if accusing him of a grave sin.
“Everybody grows up.” He said matter-of-factly.
“Meridian, perhaps you can make him remember some of the important details?” Another fairy added.
The creature nodded.
“Come with me, Arthur.” Then they moved towards the forest filled with glittering, enchanted trees.
They are now in the heart of the forest. Arthur saw a swirling mass of silver liquid in what seemed to be a spring.
“What type of spring is this?” He cannot help but ask.
“It’s called the Pensieve of Oblivion. People and creatures place the memories they wish to forget here.”
“Put your hand in the water.”
As soon as he placed his hand in the liquid, some of its tiny droplets went around him and enveloped him.
Flashes of memories came all of a sudden. Days when he played and ran with some of the fairies and made music with Meridian enlightened him. But one particular memory that he wanted to forget was brought back to him. Tears came streaming down his eyes.
“You once came here with me. When you were a child, you were one of those few who were gifted with the ability to see us. But when your mother died, you decided that you wanted to forget everything about your childhood. You wanted that painful part of your youth to be erased. I granted you your wish.”
He remained standing fixed there, his head bowed down to the ground. He is crying.
“Hush now, Arthur. We must go back.” Meridian held his hand.
Although he was shaking, he nodded. They moved across the skies. While they were above the clouds, Arthur turned to his friend.
“Meridian, can I still come back here?”
His friend just smiled.
Arthur Rosenduff stretched his weary arms. He was too exhausted he didn’t notice he already fell asleep. Strange, he said to himself. He dreamt of a wonderful place where he saw creatures he vaguely remembered. It was just a dream, that was true but why did it seem real?
As he rose from his seat, he noticed something strange on his cluttered desk.
There was a tiny forget-me-not there.