Peter Pan Complex


She switched the light on, illuminating the night filled room with artificial brightness. She paused and absorbed the absolute silence of her household. Younger brothers dreaming peacefully on the other side of the wall and along the corridor lay her father- who to her knowledge hadn't woken that day. Simply allowing the pain to engulf him and do his best to ignore it.

Yet she found it terribly romantic, as she knew in her heart his reason for being so willing to march behind death was to be reunited there with his wife. He loved the children they created; they just weren't able to compete closely. If blood still ran warm in her mother’s veins, he would resist. He felt no reason to battle as it was not.

A sigh escaped her parted lips as she walked to her window, opening it a little wider to bring in more cold air. A glance at the clock on her wall showed the early evening time of 8:45- too early to consider putting her head on her pillow. Never the less, she slipped out of the teal dress she had been so eager to feel on her skin after the catastrophe of the day previous, dressing into a cream night dress that blended with the light tone of her skin.

Even without any intention of sleeping, she crawled under her duvet and sheets before propping up the three pillows so she could lean back whilst sitting Her hand reached to the table beside her where a book with yellowed pages rested with a severely cracked spine that still kept everything in it's rightful order between the covers Reading from the place she last paused at.

The tapping she heard and the clambering may have been ignored by anyone else, passing it off as a member of the household awakening for a quick trip to the bathroom. Yet Harper was positive it came from outside. Nana, perhaps, had pushed the back door open again to venture outside of her own accord. This put the girl’s attention slightly on edge, awaiting to hear something else, but permitted herself to continue reading the words that made a perfect fairytale.

"Sleeping Beauty?"

Her heart leapt into her throat and a scream squeezed from it at the male voice inside her house. She raised the book above her head, ready to throw it at whoever was intruding while quickly scrambling from beneath her covers. Until she lowered her weapon as her wide eyes looked at the upper body that was hanging through her window, pushing to be fully into her bedroom. Her reaction then was to hide the exposed skin that was tinged pink under covers due to the lack of fabric her night attire was made with.

"Alex, what are you doing?" she asked in sheer wonder "why are you climbing into my room at nearly 9pm and how on earth do you know where I live?"

She wasn't surprised when the first thing he did was allow his lips to move upwards into a smirk, before throwing himself onto her bed and landing across her legs. She didn't hesitate in kicking, making him move off and then edged away. Her embarrassment rose to a particularly high level, and she was sure it was in case he was capable of knowing what she was thinking right then. She couldn't bare the thought of him being aware of something she wasn't even sure about herself.

"You didn't come to the park today, so I'm here to ask why you wouldn't want to see me and Rian lives like five doors away. He told me you lived here after I openly asked if anyone knew of your residency," he responded to her questions "So, why didn't you come to see me?"

She scoffed, baffled by the boys ego. She wasn't entirely aware that he had that fault, but the more she spent time with him the more it became apparent. “Alex, I don’t go to the park to see you. My brothers are the reason and today they didn’t feel like going to there.”

“You’re still embarrassed aren’t you? By what my friends did. Harper, they were idiots but it wasn’t anything to do with you. You’ve no reason to hide away because of it,” Alex sat up, staring her directly in the eyes as he said his reassuring words “And I missed seeing you today. That’s also why I came.”

Upon his additional words, she ripped away from the eye contact he had created, looking down at the illustration on her book instead. Praying there was some chance that he didn't notice the shade of pink that was rising on her cheeks.

"Why do you read these children books? I assumed your intellegance was much above that level." he went back to his initial enquiry.

"They take me away from reality in a much better way than fiction for older audiences. When I open these pages, I feel like I'm six years old again. When I honestly believed I would grow up to be a princess and wear beautiful dresses. All the ideas of true loves first kiss, and happily ever after..." she caught herself, hearing the words she was speaking in her own ears. Her skin began to crawl with humiliation, at how absurd she must seem.

"I still don't understand," Alex sighed, seemingly disappointed by himself "what is love?"

She was taken aback by his simple question, that had so many complex responses. And she pondered what her answer would be, that would satisfy his need of knowledge. What seemed almost obvious to her, was all too difficult to put into words. When she realised the only experience she had with the emotion, was off the pages of books. Ones that glorified it.

"Love is a wonderful feeling..." her words didn't come out with any confidence at all, and Alex noticed this.

"Do you know that?"

"I know the love I feel for my brothers and my father. The Greek's call that love agape. Though that's not the type you're talking about. You mean eros, which is for another person- a sexual love. Which is passionate and longing. I've never felt that way for another person. When I do, I suspect it will be as every bit as magical as the fairy tales describe it." she sighed, feeling a buzz in her blood stream from just talking it.

"But, in fairy tales they see each other and get married the next second. Is that love?"

She looked Alex, hard in the face. To see if he was mocking what she loved so dearly. Yet he looked genuinally intrigued and confused by the conflict in meanings. Suddenly her stomach churned, and the book in her hands lost a part of the sentiment she held for them. The plots were shallow, holding no substance to the grand romances.

"I don't know now Alex," she mumbled, her heart weighing heavy inside her ribcage. Racking her brain for a couple that consisted of more than a simple glance to be in love. "I'll let you know when I do."

He didn't understand how she felt in that moment, how everything seemed slightly broken. Alex Gaskarth didn't know any emotion apart from the extremes of happiness, sadness and anger. Yet his right arm instinctively draped itself across Harper's waist, drawing her closer to him. He'd seen this been used as an act of comfort, and the frown on her face told him that she needed it.

Never did she imagine this scenario would be possible between her and another human, let alone him. Her muscles stayed rigid against him, afraid to let go. The little hairs on her skin rose at his warm breath that gentley grazed across it, evenly and deeply which was calming in her ear. Finally she relaxed into his touch, burying her face into his chest.

"Alex?" she whispered, afraid she would ruin the tranquility.


"Wendy loved Peter."