Once upon a time there was a princess. A Spanish princess named *Charity*. Charity dwelt in a palace in the west and lived two lives. In one life, she stayed with her family, wrote books, played dress up, and lived like a normal princess would. In her second life, she would sneak away and meet up with the best friend no one knew she had.
His name was Peter Pan.
Peter taught Charity many things. He taught her how to fly, he taught her all the best things to do at Disneyland, and mostly he taught her all the benefits of staying young forever. Not long after they'd first met, Charity promised Peter that she would never grow up and that she would stay with him forever.
But then something happened. Charity's father, the king, informed Charity and her little sister and little brother that they would be moving away from their palace in the west to a bigger palace farther east of there. Charity was overjoyed.
"This is good, Peter." She told him. "The people further east need our help more."
"No this is bad." Peter responded. "I can't go with you. You can't go away! If you leave, you'll grow up. You promised!"
"But I don't have a choice! I have to go where my parents take me. I'm sorry, but I have to do this."
Peter sighed, knowing she was right. "Okay. Just don't say goodbye. Because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting."
Charity nodded. Then, in October of 2004, she climbed into her carriage and rode away, leaving Peter with the promise that she would come home again someday.
Well, Charity and the royal family settled into their new palace. Charity was forced to attend public school for the first time when she was in fourth grade. And though she didn't realize it, Charity began to grow up. She forgot the best things to do at Disneyland, she forgot how to fly.
She forgot Peter Pan.
Peter waited, day and night, on the roof of the old palace for Charity to come home. His eyes would scan the horizon and he would sit for days awaiting her arrival.
Wendy, who had always envied Charity's relationship with Peter, tried to make him stop. "She's not coming back." Wendy would say. "You might as well give up on her."
"No." Peter would respond. "I know she's coming back. She promised she would. She promised." And so he would wait and wait for Charity to return.
After a while he became discouraged. Several years had gone by, and he had not received any word from Charity. "But she promised . . ." He would think and then continue waiting. But seasons continued to change and the horizon remained the same: unblinking, moving only with the people and the carriages of the west. Peter had to accept it for what it was.
Charity was not coming home.
Charity had almost fully grown up. The time for her sixteenth birthday was approaching and she would soon delve into more adulthood. Then one day, she pulled out an old box from atop her bookshelf labeled "Dreams". It was clumsily decorated by the fingers of someone she once knew and someone she once was. She set it down upon her bed. "What could be in here?"
She opened the lid and drew in a short breath as she saw what lay on top. "Peter . . ."
She had taken the picture years ago of Peter and Ariel, her two best friends. She saw the face Peter had always looked at her with. And then, she remembered. She remembered all the things to do at Disneyland and how to fly. She remembered how she'd promised to go home someday. Tears spilled onto her cheeks as she looked through more pictures of him.
As she picked up the last picture, of the two of them together, she realized that she had grown up, even though she had promised she wouldn't. She realized that she had broken several promises, and she vowed in her heart that someday, soon, she would keep one of them.
"I'm coming home, Peter." She whispered. "I promise."