“Are we going to the mall again, Mollie?!” Freedom squealed excitedly. Mollie and her dad went to the mall every other Saturday.
“Hurry, Mollie!” Her dad called from downstairs. “The quicker we leave the more time we have to shop!”
“That answer your question?” Mollie smiled as she tied her shoes.
“Eek! I wonder what we’ll find!” Freedom squealed again.
“Who knows!? But if we don’t get out of here we’ll never find out.” Mollie ran to the door. “Ready?” She asked.
“No. I want to be able to touch and feel and move things! Not to mention it’s uncomfortable!” Freedom whined.
“If you don’t everyone will see you. You know you’re not a normal imaginary friend, Freedom. You never have been. Now, caged!” Mollie said as she opened the door and ran down the stairs. As soon as she had said “caged” Freedom disappeared.
At the mall
“Oh Mollie, look at that one!” Freedom ran to a blue flowered dress with poofy sleeves in the window of a store. “Mollie?” Freedom asked when Mollie didn’t say anything. “Oh, shoot! I’m caged! Mollie! Mollie!” Freedom called, but in vain. For no one, not even Mollie, could hear or see her when she was caged. She was trapped.
Five years later
Please, please, be here! Freedom thought as she once again walked the mall on a Saturday evening in hopes of finding her best friend.
“Yow!” Freedom squeaked and picked up her foot. She had stubbed her toe on something. “Stupid fo…I touched something! I touched something!” Freedom laughed in happiness and excitement. For she could only touch two things when she was caged. The floor, and a rock. A rock that she and Mollie had painted purple and hidden in Central Park in case she got lost. Freedom had already gone to where they’d hidden the rock and found that it
Latin for freedom. If anybody says this word within earshot of her, she will be free again. People will be able to see her. She will be able to touch things and move things. wasn’t there.
On the bottom of the rock is one word. Libertas, pronounced Lee-bert-ase will be like a human being again.
Freedom looked down and saw a pink backpack, by a bench she had walked through, that was only half zipped. She stuck her hand in through the side of the backpack, grabbed the rock, and pulled it out through the opening.
“Oh, Mollie! I’ll find you yet!” Freedom whispered to the air as she examined the rock. Now the only thing she had to do was get whoever's found the rock to say Libertas. It shouldn’t be to hard right? The rock had the word painted in capital letters on the bottom of it.
“Now, who do you belong to, rock?” Freedom put the rock back where she found it and looked around trying to find someone who looked like they were missing something. Sure enough a girl showed up and pointed at the backpack. She looked to be about 12. She was holding a lady’s (probably her mom’s) hand.
She picked up her backpack and they left the mall. I
Freedom followed them all the way. When they got in the car, she got in the car. When they walked into their home, she walked into their home. Freedom learned from the conversation that they had in the car that the girl’s name was Emma. And when Emma went into her room, threw her backpack on the floor and sat on her bed, Freedom stood next to her. Freedom waited until Emma left her room then she took the rock out of Emma’s backpack and set it perfectly in the middle of her bed. When Emma came back in her room and saw the rock on her bed she made a face that said “Okay, now I’m just freaked out”. She picked the rock off her bed and examined it.
“Lie-bar-tis?” She tried to pronounce the word on the bottom of the rock. Freedom face palmed.
“Oh! I know this! Two weeks of Latan class has finally paid off.” She laughed at herself. Just say it already! Please! Freedom thought. “Libertas.” Emma whispered under her breath, just loud enough for Freedom to here. Freedom appeared standing behind Emma. She felt herself. She could feel herself! She could touch things and move things and breath! She was Free again. On the other hand,
Emma was totally freaked out and she had pushed herself against the wall trying to get as far away from Freedom as possible.
“I don’t believe in ghosts.” She repeated over and over.
“Good thing. Cause I’m no ghost. I’m an imaginary friend. My name’s Freedom and you just saved me from being stuck between dimensions for the rest of eternity. Thank you.”
“Uhhh, your welcome, I guess.” She got off the wall and examined Freedom while she told her the whole story. “Wait you’re telling me that you’re not a magic, but a simple piece of this Molly girl’s imagination? That’s not hard to believe at all. Caged.” She tried it out.
“No, don’t..” Freedom disappeared.
“Libertas,” She reappeared with a sigh of relief. “That’s incredible.” Emma breathed.
“Yeah, incredible. Never do it again.”
“Okay, okay. What do you want me to do?”
“To do?” Freedom asked. “You’ve said the word. You’ve freed me. I need no more from you.”
“You said you needed to find Molly. I want to help.”
“Fine. Do you have cash?”
“How did you convince your parents to let you go out alone on a Saturday evening?” Freedom stepped off the bus.
“Ehh… I just kind of told them I was going out with some friends from my class.” Emma shrugged.
“Huh,” Freedom said as she walked up towards the front door of a two story house. “That’s odd. Molly’s parents never let her have night parties.” She stepped into a house full of seventeen year old girls she didn’t recognize, except for one.
“Umm, looks like you got a couple middle school guest, Moll!” One of them laughed and pointed at Freedom and Emma.
“They must just have the wrong house. I’ll take care of it,” Molly walked towards us. She had aged so much since the last time Freedom had seen her. She had on a knee length dress and all kinds of jewelry. “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what you’re doing here, but you’d better leave this house, right now. You’re embarrassing me in front of my friends.” She whispered harshly.
“You don’t recognize me?” Freedom quivering voice asked.
“Why would I recognize you? I’ve never…” She gasped and walked them to the backyard away from the party.
“You kind of left me at the mall five years ago. Remember that?”
“I left no one at any mall. Ever. And right now I’m asleep in my bed dreaming all of this.” She said more to herself than Freedom and shook her head.
“What?” Freedom's eyes clouded with tears.
“Eight years ago I was emotionally unstable and I had no friends so I made an imaginary friend I would call Freedom. When I was twelve, five years ago, I grew out of it. Freedom was never real. It was just a figment of my imagination. I told myself that she was magic and that she could be seen by other people. And you, kid, are just some random person who picked the wrong house and reminded me of Freedom. Now, leave me.” She turned her head from them. Tears streamed down Freedoms cheeks and she ran out of the yard, shaking her head.
“Caged.” She cried and made herself disappear.
“Look at what you’ve done!” Emma almost screamed at Molly. “Libertas!” She called, but Freedom had her ears plugged she didn’t want to be a part of a world with stupid humans who treated each other like garbage. A world where her very best friend would turn against her.
“I’ve done nothing.” Molly walked back into the house and partied like nothing had happened.
“Freedom! Please,” Emma cried. “Libertas!” She hung her head.
“Molly’s right, Emma,” Freedom’s voice said. Emma looked up. Freedom was in front of her. “I’m not real. There’s no reason I should’ve bugged you with my problems in the first place...My imaginary problems.”
“But that’s not true. You’re as real as I am and as real as she is.”
“Wanna hear a secret? All imaginary friends go through this. They get grown out of. I have the ability to speak with them. I thought I was different. I thought that Molly was different, but I was wrong.” She shook her head. Freedom and Emma embraced and cried together.
They remained friends forever. Freedom was never again caged. She was adopted into Emma’s family and they lived together as sisters from then on.