Categories > Books > Peter Pan > Star Mile
Wendy startled herself awake in the middle of the night when the sky is impossible to read for time. It's not exactly black, but not blue, either; instead, a translucent grey spread as far as she could see. It was the kind of sky that would blend into the sea if she was on a ship looking for the horizon. Even the stars only managed faint twinkles through the eerie night sky, but Wendy thought it beautiful. 'I say,' she thought, 'it must really be the middle of the night.' She shivered from the chilled air blowing through the open window in front of her, but she didn't move. She wanted to watch that sky forever, and even if she felt like getting up, sleeping in such a cramped position had left her sore.
Even the aching in her limbs didn't stop her from sitting bolt upright when she saw a flash in the sky among the countless miles of stars. Her small hands clutched the windowsill until her knuckles whitened, and she leaned dangerously far out the window as if, somehow, it would give her a better look at what happened. Immediately, she began imagining scenario after scenario: Perhaps it was a star spirit falling from the window of her fiery carriage; maybe it was a ship that could float in the air; could it be an angel? Dozens of ideas crossed her mind, except one that she barred. She avoided wondering if it was Peter, even though she knew the moment she saw the spark that it was familiar to her because she'd seen it before. She'd seen the same flashes in the sky when Peter had come for her. Too many springs had passed without him honoring his promise for her to let that hope into her heart again. Trying to avoid thinking of things that would only sadden her, Wendy stood up to close the window. Her body was stiff, and she winced more out of aggravation than pain. Yawning, she allowed herself to stretch from toes to scalp, and she raised her arms above her head. As her back arched her bones cracked, she let out a sigh that quickly turned into a yelp.
"Wow, Wendy, you make old person noises and everything!" a voice rang through the greyness.
In a magnificent display of agility, Peter Pan swooped into the window, spun several times around the ceiling, and came to land directly in front of Wendy. Chest out, arms bent, fists on his hips, he stood as proudly as ever, except for one thing. He was looking extremely perplexed that, since Wendy had grown into a young lady, he had to crane his neck to peer up at her. "It's worse than I thought," he said, actually looking hurt.
Wendy, having already had her fill of other people appraising her, grated her teeth and crossed her arms at her chest. "I didn't do it on purpose, Peter. Growing up happens to all of us," she sighed, adding "except you" to please him. "What on earth are you doing here, Peter?"
"It's spring!" He was extraordinarily pleased with himself and did a back flip that landed him on her old bed and held his arms wide open. "I promised!"
"Peter..." Wendy felt her heart break a little at his innocence. Why couldn't she still be like that? Did she really want to, though? She stepped closer to the bed, smiling softly. "Peter, it's summer; spring has passed. I'm afraid several springs have passed since I came home."
"It's spring in Neverland!" Peter was brimming with excitement, and he flipped over her head onto the floor behind her, instantly grabbing her hand to spin her around. "There are new Lost Boy's you've not met! Please, Wendy, please come back! We're all out of stories." Every inch of him quivered with excitement as he bounced from his heels to his toes; even his ears twitched.
"Might I even be able to go back now, Peter? Am I not too old?"
"I say you're not, and I make the rules!" The look on Peter's face as he spoke was so confident and self-satisfied that Wendy almost admonished him for it, but that would only prove she was too grown up, and she wasn't willing to admit that to herself or to him. "Can you still fly, Wendy?"
"Oh," she said, "I don't know. I remember how to fly, but I don't know if I can still do it."
"All you need to do is remember. Think the happiest thought you have, and you'll be right up in the air again!" Peter was making circles above her as he said this. He had his hands behind his head and crossed his ankles almost as if he was lying on a bench.
Wendy was overtaken with emotion. She could go back to Neverland, if she wanted to. That was the trouble, of course, was whether or not it was what she really wanted. Could she run away again? Her hesitation seemed to annoy Peter; he was standing in front of her again, sulking. It occurred to Wendy that she might not want to go back for that very reason. Would dealing with Peter's childlike attitudes be horrible now that she was almost all grown up?
"Come on, Wendy! You can come back, and we'll have adventures in the Jungle, and fight pirates, and tease the Mermaids, and-"
"Pirates?" Wendy leaned against a post on her old bed. "Are there still pirates?"
Peter grinned broadly and nodded his head. "Sure, loads of them! Hook didn't take long getting a-"
"Grownups sure do interrupt a lot," huffed Peter, but he continued, "Hook is back. It seems he cut himself out of that croc before it could digest him. We found its body on the beach one day, and boy did it stink! You should have seen it, Wendy! There were flies and stuff everywhere!"
Wendy grimaced and held up her hand to stop him from describing it, not only because it was disgusting, but also because she was much more interested in Hook's return. She wished the news that he was alive would do something to ease her remorse, but she almost felt worse. He'd been alive all along probably believing that she helped murdered him, and who was to say she hadn't? Maybe it was silly of her to assume that Hook thought about her constantly, but he did have an obsessive personality. After all, he was out to get Peter, wasn't he? But that truth only begged the question of why he was so obsessed. Wendy wasn't willing to believe it was as simple as it seemed when she was twelve. She would like to ask Peter about it, but he wouldn't be very forthcoming, at least not with anything that wasn't extremely biased. She doubted asking Hook was an option, but maybe she could find out somehow. More than anything having to do with Hook, though, Wendy realized she just wanted to go, at least for a little while. If she found out more about her long-time interest, so be it, but at least she wouldn't have to deal with courtship. Not yet, anyway.
Peter was about to explode from the time she was taking to make up her mind. "Wennnndyyyyyy..."
"I'll go, Peter. I'll go back to Neverland with you."
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