You follow her as she leaves the small, cramped and crowded house. Outside, she leans against the side of the building, her hands behind her back, her eyes on the grass surrounding her sneakers. You stand off to the side, hands on your hips, waiting for something – anything – to happen. And oddly enough, your childish impatience is rewarded when she steps away from the house, glancing idly at you as she pulls the baton out from behind her back. You take a few steps back to give her room, and she flicks the piece of orange plastic in her hand until the ribbons fall free from their rolled up confines.
That's when it starts. Deep green and darker purple are splayed out before you, dangling from the end of the baton, touching the grass, never touching her – she makes sure of that. She gives you a smile and then she swishes her wrist. The ribbons sway. She lifts her arm and dips it down quickly, and purple and green rise and fall and are caught in the breeze.
It gets better as she looses herself in the movements. It's like she's dancing to a song only she can hear, and tracing pictures on the breeze that only she can see. Your eyes dart from her to the ribbons. From the ribbons to her, until she's shedding away her t-shirt and jeans for a tattered gown in your mind's eye. The sunlight suddenly seems to cast an aura around her and she's glowing as she dances. And it feels like you're part of the same world, just for a moment.
The flimsy strings that held the ribbons fast to the baton disappear in a flash of light. Suddenly you're watching this fairy princess weave dark colors from her magic wand before your very eyes. She steals glances at you, whispering magic words you never really hear because you're not listening, you're so intent on watching her and the colors.
She twirls and her magic surrounds her. When she dips down, she breaks her own spell and then she smiles at you. Just for you. The wind erases the remnants of those hypnotizing colors and her hazel eyes meet your blue ones. She stares at you, searching your eyes for what it is you see. You wonder if she can see the reflection of fairy wings and magic in your eyes...
Her wings lose their shine and crumble. Her aura vanishes. Her gown is gone. Just like that, your fairy princess is gone and you're staring at your best friend again. And she's still staring back, her eyes pleading – she wants you to bring it back, bring the fantasy world back so she can forget all about reality again.
"You comin' in?"
She looks to her cousin peering around the corner of the house and then glances back to you. "Y-yeah," she stammers and slowly rolls the ribbons back up, biting her bottom lip. Once her cousin disappears inside the house again, she begins the slow, short walk back with you at her side. She promises that after lunch, the two of you will go outside again. And just before she steps inside and closes the door, you see a sparkle in her eyes. You smile wide and nod, silently promising to take her away to that fairy-land you created just for the two of you.