October 24, 2020

What’s in a Shadow?

posted on: Thursday March 21, 2013

Keely Mohin ’14/Portfolio Editor

My best friend as a child was a little girl named Shadow. She was tiny and precocious, and I met her when she and her sister moved to my hometown from Timbuktu. She spent her days riding an elephant and earning pocket money tap dancing and playing the guitar in the park. I have long since outgrown my little imaginary friend, but her presence will never be forgotten. She taught me perhaps the most important lesson I have ever learned. She taught me to imagine. Shadow appeared during lazy days of boredom. At first, all she embodied was my own shadow, a darkened reflection upon my wall that I liked to talk to. Soon, though, her appearance and story became clear to me. She was pale and petite, complete with blue eyes and spunky pigtails. She didn’t have a mommy or a daddy, but sometimes her sister came to visit her. She slept on my floor, and sometimes, if I was feeling generous, I let her hold my security blanket, Mooky. The magic of Shadow was that she could be anything I wanted her to be. If I was sad, she was my comforter. If I was lonely, she was my friend. If I was angry, she was someone to escape to. My favorite thing about Shadow, though, was that she was mine. I could invent her past, present, and future. She was the little story I wrote in my brain, my varying invention. I could spend hours pondering all the people she had met and all the places she had seen.

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