A story about a girl/woman and her imaginary friend. I think that’s what it’s about. The writer of the story-me-is unsure at this time.
By Ronald Cypress
Ursula Cain introduced Wilbur to her family for the first time when she was four years old. At that time, given her age and the fact that she was an only child, Ursula’s parents were not surprised to find that their daughter had an imaginary friend. Like many things that kids do at that age, Ursula coming up with a little friend was considered cute. It was very cute until the Cains realized how attached their daughter was becoming to the boy that didn’t exist.
It wasn’t enough to just talk to Wilbur, or an empty space where Wilbur supposedly was, but Ursula began insisting that special arrangements be made to accommodate Wilbur. The Cains had to buy a sleeping bag so that he could sleep next to Ursula’s bed. They had to buy presents for him to bring to other children’s birthday parties. Extra food was prepared because “Wilbur sometimes ate regular food” (straight from Ursula’s mouth). The whole thing with Wilbur would have kept on if Mr. Cain hadn’t put his foot down and insisted that his daughter start treating her imaginary friend like what he was.
“Wilbur is not real,” Mr. Cain said, putting on the stern face he always used when he was lecturing his daughter. “And we are not going to spend any more money on him.”
After the scolding, Ursula became a bit more discreet about her friendship with Wilbur. Still, the Cains would often catch their daughter talking to him. It didn’t become a real problem until she reached the age of eight and the Cains realized that Ursula still had Wilbur on her mind.
“Something’s not right,” Mrs. Cain told her husband. “She shouldn’t still be talking to an imaginary friend. Not a girl her age.”
The Cains decided that the best thing to do was to take Ursula to a psychiatrist. It took nearly a year, both parents and doctor working together, before Ursula promised to stop talking to Wilbur and admit that he wasn’t real. Her parents were satisfied when they realized she was keeping her word.
“She’s already starting to seem more like a normal girl,” Mr. Cain said to his wife one evening when they were getting ready for bed. “Maybe she’ll start making more real friends. I can’t even remember the last time she had a friend over.”
The Cains didn’t hear the name Wilbur again until Ursula was thirteen.
“Ursula had her first period today,” Mrs. Cain told her husband.
“She told me about. She also told me that Wilbur was there to talk to her about it. Apparently, they are closer than they were before.”
The Cains left their daughter alone. She was getting older, and they didn’t want to make her teenage years any harder by pressuring her to resume speaking with a psychiatrist. All they could do was hope that Ursula would do away with Wilbur for good and mature out of the mindset that kept him around. The Cains held onto hope that their daughter would eventually become a normal girl.
The high school years came and went for Ursula. Her senior prom came around, but Ursula didn’t go. Instead, she told her parents that her and Wilbur were going somewhere special that night.
“It’s going to be better than that prom,” Ursula said.
She never told her parents where she and Wilbur were going. The Cains didn’t ask because they really didn’t care. They figured it was probably best that their daughter go out and be alone. Loneliness would always be familiar to their daughter.
“Sometimes I wish I could just grab her,” Mr. Cain told his wife one night. “Just grab her and shake her. Tell her to stop this nonsense with Wilbur. Enough is enough.”
“Well,” Mrs. Cain said. “She’s not hurting anyone. And he’s not hurting her. And no one seems to know about him, so at least she’s not carrying on in public.”
Ursula moved away from home once it was time for her to start college. Once that happened, the Cains began to see very little of her. She called home at least once a week to assure them that she was doing well. They worried about her and expected her to come running back home any day, broken and damaged by the outside world, but it never happened. Ursula made it through college and moved even farther away from home to start working as a teacher.
When she was twenty-seven, Ursula called her parents and announced that she was getting married. The Cains were very surprised but still happy for their daughter. They met their future son in-law and approved of him. It looked as if Ursula was going to be okay, and on her wedding day she appeared to be the mature woman that her parents had always hoped she would be.
A few years went by before Ursula showed up at her parents’ house one morning. She was sobbing. Her parents found out that Ursula and her husband were getting a divorce.
“He left me,” Ursula said.
The Cains tried to comfort their daughter, and they told her that everything was going to be all right. She would stay with them for a few days to get herself together, and then she would have to go back out into the world. She had responsibilities and couldn’t neglect those just because some unhappiness had come into her life. The Cains coddled her as well as they knew how on her first night back. Later that night they were alone in their room when they heard Ursula’s voice. They quietly snuck down to her room to check on her, both silently apprehensive about what they would hear. Ursula’s bedroom door was cracked open, and her parents were able to quietly peek into the room.
“Wilbur, my dear friend.” Ursula was sitting on her old bed. “I’m so glad you’re here with me. Yes, I knew you would be. I know what I mean to you.”
Ursula’s parents looked at each other. Both had to resign. Ursula wasn’t going to stay long. They quietly went back to their room and closed the door.