He didn’t understand their world. It was big and dark and confusing; arguments and yelling and other painful noises rattling around inside his head like shards of glass. He preferred the quieter life when his real friends came out to play, when he was not a child but an equal. His parents didn’t see them, didn’t hear them, but – like Winnie the Pooh – that didn’t make them less real. In fact, for him, it made them more real, made the world of his parents seemed shallow and fake and artificial, like the AstroTurf where his brothers played football every day after school.
His world lay underneath the AstroTurf, deep inside the heart of the earth where faeries were real and magic filled every cell in his body. Sometimes, at dinner or at some event with his parents, he’d distracted himself by thinking about that life. What his friends might be doing, what epic quest they might undertake next. No one believed him. His brothers had grown up far enough to forget. Maybe his parents were never small enough to remember. So he played with them in his room, or deep in the woods, reenacting stories past down through generations. Fighting battles. Winning wars. Saving the princess. Slaying dragons.
One day, he knew, he’d travel through one of those door and never come back, no matter what. He would, at last, be home.
He couldn’t wait.