I had an imaginary friend when I was young. He came with me everywhere but he was my little secret. I never told anyone about him because he wasn’t just anybody. He was a Knight from long ago who had got lost in time and was trying to fit into modern life. This is the story of his life today.
When we first met he was lost unsure how anything in this strange world worked. I snuck him into my home and feed him some cookies I had stashed away. I remember thinking his speech was funny but he thanked me for the food before trying to leave. I couldn’t let him go out dressed in his armour though, so I convinced him to stay with me. What’s this got to do with his life now? Well, just about everything.
See when I gave him those cookies he declared them the strangest thing he had ever eaten and yet he was fascinated by them. I remember the first time we baked a batch together and he ate half the dough before it was cooked. They soon became his favourite food to the point that when we snuck some alcohol one night when I was a teenager he drunkenly professed his undying love for cookies. These days he runs a little bakery in this little village in the countryside.
He claims that it was those first cookies that changed his life. He found something in those warm gooey cookies that he had never found as a knight. That’s not to say he hung up his sword, we had many adventures when I was young, but these days it’s mainly just a decoration in his living room. Cookies though, they fill his waking hours accompanied by cakes and scones and all kinds of bread.
His baking has come a long way from those first cookies we made. I remember the burnt smell of the cookie dough we did manage to get into the oven. I remember how we stubbornly ate the cookies anyway refusing to believe there was anything wrong with them. Now though, they are baked to perfection and decorated with beautiful designs that make them look like something out of fairy tales. I asked him where he got his inspiration once and he said he just thought of his old home and it gave him everything he needed.
That sword doesn’t always hang on the wall though. He takes it down once a year to participate in his villages annual medieval day. I still try to make the effort to go and to cheer him along in the tournament he insists on entering. Decked out in armour he looks to me like he did all those years ago when we met but now he wears my favour on his arm. He always comes away from the tournament victorious and when others ask how he became so good with a sword he just smiles politely and says it is just a hobby.
There’s a twinkle in his eyes though that reminds me that it’s so much more than that for him. He might be out of his own time but he’s still a knight and he still upholds the code. So when he offers me a flower at the end of his final match I take it carefully and place a kiss on his cheek. A silent reminder that whatever comes we will always have each other to lean on.