Friends Imaginary Part One

By JOHN BENEDICT SARMIENTO | Published: January 21, 2012

Toby watched as his classmates nearly broke the door open.

Why are they so rowdy? Shanghai asked.

"I have no idea." Toby mumbled.

Maybe they lack attention? Hourai said.

It's puberty. It has got to be puberty. Holland answered.

Toby nodded to himself, as if he was really hearing the conversation. In truth, the conversation he was having was nothing more than a figment of his imagination. Shanghai wasn't a beautiful you girl with a flambouyant nature. Hourai wasn't a sweet and loving person. Holland wasn't an eccentric smart-aleck. And none of them were cousins. In fact, none of them was real.

The reason why Toby began having imaginary friends, is because conversations always turned for the worse for him. A joke, becomes an insult. A comment, becomes a stinging remark. A chuckle becomes a tear. Yes, Toby was getting tired of the miscommunication. So, in his lonesome, he went and constructed an imaginary friend. It started out as someone he'd have imaginary converstions with, someone that would pop into his head during a conversation, that would add a tasteful, humourous, and smart, comment. He wanted his imaginary friend to be unique, so he made a girl, and named her Shangha Trepischore. Catchy name, too.

But soon, as his life became even more boring, he thought that, maybe Shanghai would need some family. And soon, Shanghai's twin sister, Alice Trepischore, was created. He made it where, Shanghai and Alice are fraternal twin sisters, you know, where the don't look alike, so that he can tell the difference between the two of them. After some time, he wanted to give the two sisters a mother, and Victoria Trepischore was born. This time, he made it where a twin system is hereditary. Over the months (to him, it felt like years), Toby added, removed, renamed, re-faced, reshaped, and changed his "people's" history: ShanghaI and Alice are fraternal twin sisters, with a mother named Victoria. Their last name is Trepischore, to make the name catchy. Victoria has two sisters, Jeanette and Letty. The three of them are triplets, with Victoria being the "middle" child, Jeanette being the dominant of the triplets, and with Letty lagging behind. Having twins or triplets is common in their family. Jeanette, Victoria, and Letty get pregnant on the same year, on different dates, and their first children: Jeanette gives birth to twin boys Adam and Jeff. Victoria gives birth to fraternal twins Helen and Robert. While Letty gives birth to a single child, which dies at birth. One year later, they all get pregnant at the same time again. Jeanette gives birth to twin girls, Seihou and Touhou, because she feels that her husband's Asian roots should be explored, and added with a somewhat twist. Victoria gives birth to Shanghai and Alice, calling them an "Oriental Western Fantasy" when put together. Letty gives birth to another, single child, Dina. Jeanette is killed in a car accident, along with her husband, but their children are safe. In their Will, Victoria was to care for them if anything happened to the parents. Victoria openly takes them in. Meanwhile, Letty gives birth to quadruplets Grace, Jenny, Atchie, and Chloe, and dies after massive blood-loss. In her last Will, Letty also left her daughters to Victoria if anything happened to her. Victoria, though reluctant at first, took the girls in. The final parts of their "history" happened when the final children (the quadruplets) were simply toddlers. The second round of twins were in their grade school years. Their older children, graduating middle school.

Their history continues, where, Victoria's parents, die of old age, and leaves her with a vast, secret fortune, that helps her in taking care of her "children". Jeanettes twins older twins help Victoria's older twins taker of their younger children, before they go to their senior year. The younger twins become the more "dominant" members of the family, and a type of rivalry develops between sisters Shanghai and Alice develops. Dina affiliates herself with Shanghai, because the two have been friends ever since. She then changes her name to Holland, after the country her mother was born in. Seihou and Touhou were originally going to leave this to the three of them, but after a sharing of ideas, they discover how different they are, and Seihou joins Alice out of spite. Touhou joins Shanghai, and changes her name to Hourai to break the similarities with her sister (Touhou means "eastern", while Seihou means "western"). Victoria enrolls them into Toby's school, where their "adventure" with him, begins.

Toby imagined Shanghai bursting through the door, followed by Hourai and Holland. It was a common, imaginary, occurence, where the three of them would accidentally hit two or three of Toby's real classmates.

Hi, Toby! Shanghai said. Toby rested his head on his hand, while his imaginary conversation took place.

We found a snake in the yard yesterday. Hourai would say.

Ew! Disgusting! Holland would yell.

But you have to admit, the snake simply loved Shanghai. Hourai said.

In Toby's mind's eye, he imagined what it would be like to have really seen a snake lurking in the yard.

It was pretty cold . . . Hourai said.

Yuck! You touched it!? Get away from me! Holland yelled. In Toby's mind, an imaginary chase occured, that would leave him alone with Shanghai.

Over the time he has spent with his "creations", it was Shanghai he was the most fond of. It was because she was his first creation. He made her the perfect girl for her. He didn't make her exceedingly pretty. Just pretty. He made her smart, and witty, able to carry a conversation. He made her funny, who made jokes that Toby would laugh to. He made her thin yet slender, gave her an above average yet below high standards of an I.Q., and made it where, the two of them had a loving, yet friendly, bond.

How was your weekend?Shanghai asked.

"It was pretty boring." Toby mumbled. He looked at the empty seat beside him, and imagined Shanghai sitting there.

"I missed you." Toby admitted, frowing at the empty seat.

Don't look at me like that. You amaze me. Shanghai said. Toby couldn't help but smile at himself. Making it where Shanghai would often speak in lyrics was one of his better decisions.

"I wish you were real." Toby sighed.

I am real. Shanghai protested.

"No, I mean, really there. Someone I can touch." Toby whispered. If anyone caught him talking to himself, they might think he's crazy.

Sometimes, if you wish hard enough, they become real. Shanghai said.

"Is the same said with prayers?" Toby said, looking up at the ceiling of his classroom. His classmates, real classmates, were running amok inside the room, so they were too busy to hear him talk to himself

Especially prayers. I may be an atheist, but sometimes, I think prayers are stronger versions of wishes. Shanghai said. Toby made her an atheist. Not because he wanted someone who didn'e believe in God, but because he wanted someone who wasn't ashamed of what they are. Some Catholics and Christians would speak about God's teachings, but ignore them in real life. In truth, he felt an atheist was one of the wisest people in the world: They don't believe there is a God. They believe in the teachings of right and wrong. As long as they know a wrong deed from a good one, they will be wiser than any of them.

"I wish you were real." Toby said again, looking down.

Reality is a prison. You feel so yourself, Toby. Fantasy is such a blissful way of releasing yourself from what ties you down. Shanghai said.

"My love for you ties me down." Toby said. In his imagination, he imagined Shanghai being shocked. Toby himself felt disturbed. He was in love with a figment of his imagination. A love that will never be. How cruel life can be at times, to the people who are innocent.

Then you shouldn't have made me. Shanghai would say angrily.

"I wish you were here." Toby said. He sadly looked at the empty seat beside him.

You are not believing hard enough

"Yes I am."

No, you are not.

"Fantasy is made real. Fantasy is Dreaming. Dreaming is a Reality." Toby said. That was his motto in life.

Try again

Toby sighed, and closed his eyes. He wished, with his heart, that Shanghai was real. That his the imaginary world he created was real.

"Class, settle down." The teacher said, when she came into the room. "Meet our new, foreign exchange students from France." The teacher gestured to three, oddly familiar, girls. "Shanghai Trepischoir, Hourai Jones, and Holland Blackwater."

Toby's eyes looked up instantly, and he knew, that his imagination, had come to life. Toby was the first to greet them later in the day.

"Hi, I'm Toby." He said. Shanghai, the girl in the front, was silent. She appeared suspicious, or wondering.

"Toby . . . Thompson?" Shanghais said.

Toby's eyes widened.

"You look . . . familiar . . . like in a dream."

"Really? You look the same way too."

"Tell me about your life."

"Ladies first."

Toby decided that, he would start with his imaginary creation. Maybe that would set things straight.



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