A Collection of Sorrow

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Chapter 1

I Dont Want to Grow Up

The day was bright and beautiful; children ran in their parents' and friends' yards, laughing, screaming, the thrill of youth burning through their thin muscles. They ran across the street to chase a ball, a frizbee, a little brother, or a dog who had escaped its leash.

Outside, the world was ... almost innocent.

Behind every closed door, and every glare of a window, a parent, an older sibling, or a relative looked out with sad eyes, knowing their children would have to one day grow up. And when they did, they would be rubbing their backs and cracking their necks of the stress and worry life forced them to swallow.

"Make more money!" life would cry to them, "Work, work, work! Or else you will lose everything!" Another spoonful of hope, another dash of pain: "Don't worry! You'll be doing this your whole life, so you'd best get used to it!"

A mother, a father, an older sibling, and a grandfather; they stared out from doorways and dirty windows, from dark sunglasses and fake smiles, with tears in their eyes and depression in their hearts.

Yes, their children would have to grow up very soon. Until then, let them relish in the present; let them chase after ladybugs before they grow old enough to chase after women! Let them hunt for four-leaf-clovers instead of husbands! And let them sit on the porch and drink their juice boxes, before they learn to open a bottle of beer!

All of these families with their secret hearts bore the same pain-- this entire neighborhood of silent anguish, waiting to fall into their graves so they wont have to witness their children's future sufferings-- all except one man.

He turns from the window, away from the children, and thinks, "They never have to grow up... why do they think they do?" He walks into his bedroom and picks at the sack of old little boy clothes, folded neatly on his chair.

"I didn't want to grow up, so I didn't." he says to himself. "All of those parents are worrying over nothing...They can just come with me." He undresses and struggles into his old green clothes, tearing it. But he doesnt seem to notice. "We can go off to Neverland forever, like we did before."

He turns to the silver birdcage in the corner of the room. "Right, Tinkerbell?" he says.

The white bird, twenty-years dead, does not answer the man.

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