I rolled my eyes at him. “More importantly,” I added, “you cheated me out of two places. I’d like to see the top two on my list.” I was thoroughly enjoying number eight. Why not shoot for the stars, you know?
“No, you wouldn’t,” the fairy said.
“Yes, I would.”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
“Yes, I would, and I’ll tell you why.” I’m not sure what argument I was going to attempt at that moment. It slipped my mind when I saw the fairy smiling, and I realized that he knew what he was doing all along. “You knew what you were doing all along,” I said.
He smiled and fluttered in the air.
“If you knew my top ten list, you knew that none of that other stuff I saw today was on the list.”
“Yes,” he admitted. “Trust me, I’ve done this before. It’s better that your best moments remain a mystery. That’s how you people work.”
He was probably right. Some things you don’t want to quantify. “How do you know so much about how “˜us people’ operate?”
“I have to do this once a year.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have to appear to a human once a year.”
I began strategizing. It would really impress girls if you could get a fairy to show up. “And can you appear more often?”
“Yes, I can, but to any one person I can only appear twice in a lifetime.”
“Twice?” That made things more complicated. “So will I ever see you again?”
He flew over to the boy version of me and landed on his shoulder. It made a pretty picture – the fairy, the boy, and the rolling hills of medieval Missouri in the background. “You’ll see me just before you die,” he said. “But you won’t need me then.”
And before I could respond, I was back in my bedroom, staring into my sock drawer.