I have a name, too


Lauren Batterbee

Paten Per’s hat, which is different from Peter Pan’s because they are different.

A keyhole. That is all the light I get.

A keyhole entering the terrifying box I’ve been defeated by. The box is filled with sharp things like scissors and needles, cloth things like napkins, and some mysterious squishy thing.

Not only is it filled with dangerous items, but did I also mention that this box is the epitome of my worst fear? The fear comes in waves. Just as I feel I can do fine with perfecting my miming skills, I feel the blackness creep into me, sending shivers radiating through my body.

Anything could be lurking in the box with me. The keyhole is my source of light. The keyhole is my source of life.

Suddenly, my thoughts become self-conscious of themselves, realizing they are the only sound in earshot. The keyhole lights dim as those on the other side of this jail drift off to their peaceful, spacious sleep.

I lose track of time, and suddenly, my eyes get heavy despite my inflexible body being forced to be flexible.

Just as I am about to be stabbed to death by a pair of scissors, my eyes land right where the only comfort is, and one eye slowly opens and the other one soon follows.

As I shake away as much grogginess as I can and look to see my captors, I spot something colorful that wasn’t there prior to my doze.

My nemesis—Peter Pan—is here just beyond the window. He is always flying around, expecting me to follow him—mirror him. Take every step with him, every arm movement, every twitch of a finger; if he does it, I do it.

We spend all of this tiring time together, and he never bothered to learn my name. Never has he said, “Hello Paten! How are you?” Never has he introduced me to the lost boys we live with. Never has he even dreamed of the name Paten Per.

My anger fuels me. I aim to attack Peter, who is rummaging through my captor’s belongings, but I don’t get far—I only succeed in giving myself a concussion and revealing my location.

As Tinkerbell—Peter’s other assistant—makes her way to me, I decide the only thing to do is improvise.

Immediately after Peter opens my cage, I leap out, ignoring the blaring pain shooting through my skull and the ache and numbness from my legs, and I fly around the room just out of reach of Peter.

He lunges at me, but I step away just in time. As wind is created by Peter and I, I try to be careful not to knock anything over so I don’t awaken the captors.

Never has he even dreamed of the name Paten Per.”

But I guess no one’s perfect. The pain of my already concussed head increases tenfold. My body aches now feel like broken bones. He captures me, I try to kick away before I deem it useless.

He grabs a bar of soap, of all things, to attack me back—I guess it won’t be long before I can get away from him again—maybe even a few weeks.

Suddenly, the covers on a bed fly off, and my captor rushes over telling Peter he’s doing it wrong.

Oh no. She’s getting needle and thread. I will be stuck on him forever. My time of freedom is over. I will forever be connected to Peter, following his every move. But all I want is to be myself. To do what I want to do. I want to be Paten Per, not the shadow of Peter Pan.