In which Luke doesn’t lose touch of his imaginative side. And I finally write something even if it’s kind of shitty.
Word Count: 1,702
Rating: I say shit like twice idk it’s pretty 12+ friendly.
Based on the recent twitcam. And these tags: #WAIT NO#SOME ONE WRITE ME AN AU WHERE LUKE HAD THESE IMAGINARY FRIENDS AS A KID#THEY WERE A WEIRD MEXICAN STEREOTYPE#AN ALIEN#AND LION#AND THEN WHEN HE GREW UP#THEY’D STILL SHOW UP#AND THEIR STATE OF ‘IMAGINARY-NESS’ STOPPED REALLY MATTERING#i just
Tags by the ever lovely cuddlesclifford (you should probably follow them if you aren’t already just saying).
“Lion! Guard the entrance. Bobby, Alien and I will take the tower,” Luke squealed. He wasn’t talking to anyone in particular, there was no one there everyone but Luke could see that, but to him he saw his three best friends ever.
“No! Alien, it’s fine,” Luke began screaming upwards, something visibly causing him distress. “Alien, stop! Let me into the tower!” Luke’s small feet began stomping around, his voice quivering with each howl.
“You have to the count of three or I’m telling! One… Two!… Alien, let me in,” Luke wailed, flopping his tiny body onto the ground. His cheeks were blushed pink, tears outlining the fine layer of dirt from his adventures. He began sobbing, and loud. Luke felt defeated and betrayed, walking up to his mom who was deep in concentration.
“M-um,” Luke hiccupped over the thumb suckled in his mouth. “Mum.”
Luke was quickly being coddled, held closely and tightly to his mum while her work was forgotten, there was something nice about being the youngest and this was it.
Luke sobbed about the day’s adventure with Lion, Alien, and Bobby. It started off with the building of a fort, holding captive 200 giraffes and 400 penguins, how the quartet planned to make an army with them and take over the world.
It then turned into their victories over existing and imaginable countries. There were five as Luke can remember, it was a tiring day and he was the king of many lands.
He told his mum about building his new castle, getting new king’s clothes, ruling over his new people, and the dreaded rejection from his own castle.
The comfort he received was enough to boost his ego once again and tell Alien off, like his mum had told him to. He had hoped to rule his kingdom once more, his mum had hoped her talks would gain him courage, enough to possibly make a real life friend.
Luke’s mum felt for him, his overactive imagination caused kids to find him odd, a weirdo they’d call him. No one wanted to play with a kid who had an imaginary friend at the age of six, let alone three of them.
So Luke played alone. Alone with the odd mix of acquaintances he figured up.
One was Lion named rightly, a small cub to play and grow with him, tame enough to not hurt him or his other pals. Lion was the first one Luke created, it was like Luke in many ways; quiet, shy, thoughtful, perpetually hungry, and quite active.
Another was an Alien, sent from a planet Luke deemed as “Ugh,” it didn’t choose to talk much, how could anyone understand, really? Luke said Alien protected him from all the bad things in the world, like falling, or getting sick, or the bad things he heard on TV. No one understood why Luke felt the need to protect himself through Alien, but he was safe.
The final friend he imagined up was a human, a Mexican kid his age named Bobby in stereotypical getup. The only explanation to Bobby was that Luke had talked to a boy like him once. That was all to his story on Bobby.
Luke grew with his imaginary friends. He took them to primary school, told his stories to the teachers, played with them during recess, sat with them at lunch, wrote about them in his daily logs, and drew them during art. It wasn’t all that worrying to Luke’s family.
To Luke’s teacher’s, it was beyond troubling.
Soon, Luke was placed into bi-weekly therapy sessions at the guidance counselor’s request. It took more than two months for him to finally feel comfortable enough to give more than one word answers, but all he ever wanted to talk about were his friends and how much fun they had.
It wasn’t long before Luke was finally convinced that he had to move on from his friends like the other children. He understood, mostly. He understood that he was ten now, imaginary friends weren’t giving him the comfort or empathy that real friends could. He didn’t understand why it was a big deal. He had much more fun than the other kids, it was noticeable, but he was a bit different from them, Luke was told this his whole life. His mind was a plethora of untouched and raw ideas and visions that made him unique and full of life, it showed in his art class and journaling.
He was still a weirdo, though, to the kids around him even after he dropped his imaginary friends.
Now he was just alone.
Things never actually changed for Luke. He went through schooling, all the way through college without a solid friendship. His thoughts and mind stayed closed behind the journals he chose to keep up, everyone else had dropped them after primary on account of them being “the stupidest shit they’d ever done.” It was enjoyable to Luke to keep his ideas locked away in countless bundles of paper.
University came around and of course Luke felt off about that, too (“Why do I have to go if I only want to pursue art and music?”). He started his first year off with finally making some art school friends, most of which introduced him to the wonders of drugs.
The first time he’d smoked weed with his friends, he felt light and warm, like he was being comforted by his mother again when Alien wouldn’t let him near danger. The thought worried him, like he was slipping back, reversing in the progress he had made.
He quickly let it slip, forgetting everything as he enjoyed the company of his newly made friends, abundance of food, and bounty of art supplies. Luke’s work that night astounded him, made him want to get high more just to create pieces that captivated everyone in his class. Made him feel good about himself.
The second time he had joined his friends was different, this time he let himself continue to think about his past imaginary friends, incorporating them into his work, letting them come to life on the condition they’d be gone when his high was.
The result was, well it was different this time. Luke knew what his old friends looked like, but somehow they grew up, became bigger and more life-like. He remembered seeing Alien stupidly posing on top of Lion (who could now walk as a human, but that was a different story) and Bobby trying to prank some other students that Luke hadn’t really cared for.
In the back of Luke’s mind, he knew they weren’t real but he knew it wasn’t a hallucination either. It was just what he was accustomed to, having friends around when he felt lonely.
Did he feel lonely? He missed home, he knew that. But he had friends now. Friends who genuinely liked him and made him feel good about himself. Luke didn’t need to imagine up friends. He didn’t need to find comfort and isolate himself from the world like he did so many years ago.
It didn’t stop him from trying to see them.
Now it had become harder to imagine them after not doing so for what? like eight years.
He started getting looser with how he handled the trio, though. He would slip hints and sometimes blatantly talk about them with his buddies when he was well stoned. Of course no one believed him, some people just say stupid shit when they’re high and Luke was one of them. No worries.
Luke began talking more to them whenever his roommates would leave. The first conversation being full of apologies for keeping them locked away for so long. They understood, accepted his apologies quickly and thanked him for bringing them back to life.
He learned it was lonely for them too. The trio felt literal death, nothingness when Luke forgot about them. They still felt for Luke just as his mum had when she knew kids didn’t like him. They heard every thought, saw every word, felt every emotion Luke had. They so badly wanted to console him, Alien much more than the others, but they were imprisoned.
The talks went on, just short ones usually, about Luke’s day or the stories behind his therapy sessions and years of loneliness. It solaced Luke, felt better than talking to his therapist, he felt less judged. But talking to them gave Luke an odd feeling at first, like he was crazy and would be condemned and shunned by his current friends if they ever caught him. Maybe he was, it wasn’t a bad crazy and Luke established that. It was just an I-like-the-comfort-I-get-from-imaginary-friends kind of insanity and he was strangely okay with it.
The Imaginaries (as Luke had so kindly let them call themselves) enveloped themselves into his work. Lion would guide Luke on which brush-strokes would look best, Alien would approve of colors for him, and Bobby would choose the scenes or images Luke would be commended for. Luke thought they would make a great team, gave them praise just as he did them.
It was when he moved into his first apartment that Luke knew this was probably going to be a permanent thing. He would talk with The Imaginaries, drink tea with them, cook meals with them. It was his thing. His comfort thing. He accepted it. He didn’t try to change it, they caused no harm, and he wouldn’t let them because in the back of his mind he still knew they weren’t real. It never was weird to Luke to have these people, things in his life. It was just a part of him that never grew away like some people never grow out of ignorance.
Sometimes Luke would even subtly let his mum know that they were helping him, that they had made their way back to him and helped him achieve the status he had in the art community. He’d often accidentally find himself laughing at their silliness when he was skyping his family, but again it wasn’t that big of deal. The Imaginaries were apart of him.
And that was just how it was supposed to be, he guessed.