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Imaginary Friends

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“Tommy, you need to make some friends, I’m worried about you” Tommy’s mom says in a calm, soothing voice

“I have a friend!” Tommy exclaims, a large smile painted on his face “His name is Tubbo! He’s my best friend” 

“Oh?” His mother inquires“And what does this Tubbo look like?” A sympathetic smile rests on her face, her blonde hair framing her pale face.

Tommy’s eyes dance around the room, landing on the corner closest to the door where a boy his age stands, his brown hair in a shaggy bowl cut, olive skin appearing slightly faded. A smile stretching across his face. Tubbo raises his hand “That’s Tubbo!” Tommy points at the now empty corner, his smile falling only slightly “At least, that’s Tubbo just was” he glances quickly around the room “It’s ok, he’s just shy”

Tommy’s mother shakes her head, the realization that Tubbo is an imaginary friend for her young son. “Well sweetie” she sighs “I hope I get to meet him one day.” She states, walking out of the room with a sigh. 

“Tubbo, why did you hide from her? Mum is really nice! I think she would like you” 

“Adults are scary” Is all Tubbo says as he returns, seemingly fading into existence, a smile on his face.

 

“Tubbo!! Come on we’re gonna be late!” Tommy shouts, throwing on his white tee shirt with vibrant red sleeves

“No so what? School is like sleep”
“How so?”

“It’s a pointless waste of time”

“Tubbo! That’s not how it works!”

“Fine, fine, let’s go” Tubbo chuckles, getting off Tommy’s bed, a dent not being left “But I’m not helping you in any of your classes!” 

The two friends exchange smiles Tommy puts his pine green backpack on, motioning for Tubbo to follow. Quickening his pace, Tubbo catches up to him, having to look slightly upward in order to see his abnormally tall friend. Tommy’s short blonde hair sitting like a cloud on top of his head. With smiles on their faces, they walk past the kitchen and out the door, heading to the bus stop with their fellow highschoolers. All of which knew Tommy.

“The child has arrived!” Wilbur, the tallest of the group declares, his yellow beanie causing a small tuft of curly brown hair to poke out, a warm smile on his face. 

“I’m not a child! I am just a year below you guys!” 

“Still a child!” 

A small chuckle can be heard from the crowd as a short girl with long blonde hair steps forward “Is this what everyone meant when they said you were like Tommy’s older brother” She asks, a fond smile on her face

“No Niki, if he were like my brother he could actually get a girlfriend” Tommy declares sticking a tongue out at the older boy. Causing yet another playful argument to break out. More of their surrounding peers joined in on the teasing of the junior and fueling the fire.

Tubbo stands off to the side, a bittersweet smile gracing his face as his brown hair hangs still, unbothered by the wind. 

“He looks like he’s having fun” He whispers to no one but himself, listening to the playful arguing. He’s happy, he really is, happy Tommy is making more friends, and happy Tommy is having fun. But the joy brings with it sorrow, the knowledge that he’s not needed any more, that he will be replaced by someone else, someone better.

 

With a loud screech, the bus stops in front of the crowd, allowing the group of students to get on. Without a second thought, Tommy gets on with the crowd not bothering to look back to check on his friend. Not until the bus leaves does he realize Tubbo was left behind. A wave of guilt washes over him, but it doesn’t for long

“Tommy!” A soothing voice calls, as a boy, somehow even taller Tommy, sits down next to the blonde boy, breaking him from his trance.

“Yo! Ranboo what’s up!” 

“Not much, just trying not to fall asleep”

“Huh? Why”

Ranboo chuckles and runs a hand through his split colored hair right in between the black side and the white side. “I made the mistake of staying up all night playing minecraft” 

“Again?” 

“Hey, don’t patronize me, I still do good in all of my classes!” 

“Are you implying”

“Yes, yes I am”

A smug smile dances on Ranboo’s face, countering the offense on Tommy’s face at the statement, Tommy had fallen behind in a few of his classes, two of them Ranboo were in. The two boys continue chatting the entire way to the highschool. 

“Oh yeah! Before I forget my parents are letting me have some friends over tonight!” Ranboo declares

“On a monday?”

“Yep! On a monday!”
“For how long?”

“Oh, it’s a sleepover! Tho we will have to pretend to be working whenever my parents check up on us”

“I’m in!” A smile plants itself on Tommy's face as they pull up to the highschool, and with the smile comes the distant feeling of forgetfulness. He knows he forgot something, but he doesn’t know what that something was.

Slowly but surely all the students get off the bus, each one in their own little groups, except for Tommy who was trying to spot Tubbo, his best friend. And off to the side, a little ways away from everyone else, he stands, the bittersweet smile still on his face. 

“Yo Tubbo what’s wrong?” Tommy questions walking over to his friend “And wait, how did you get here, I thought you missed the bus?”

“Oh, I walked” 

“From the bus stop to school?”

“Yep”

“Oh ok, well guess what!”

“What?”

“I got invited to a sleepover!”

“That’s awesome! When is it?”

“Tonight!” Upon hearing the date of the sleepover the former bittersweet smile that orgionaly rested on Tubbo’s face falls.

“Tonight? But, what about Minecraft Monday?” A slight quiver can be heard in his voice, but it goes unnoticed by Tommy.

“Eh, we do that every week, we’ll just wait till next monday!” Tommy declares as the bell rings “Well, I’ll see you in class!” 

 

Tubbo was left alone in the courtyard of the school, not sure what to do. 

Tommy doesn’t need him any more.

So what does that mean for him? He knew this day would come eventually, it was inevitable that Tommy would end up making real friends, but how was he supposed to feel?

“DAMMIT” He shouts as he makes an attempt to punch a tree, but as always, his hand goes right through. “I’m imaginary, I’m supposed to just fade away when I’m not needed! Why is it taking so long!” Tubbo shouts, his brown hair bouncing lightly as he drops to his knees, tears slowly falling down his cheeks.

“Why is it painful” he whispers, knowing no one can hear him or see him, but feeling the need to keep his volume down. Not knowing what else to do he just lays down and stares at the bright sky, watching the clouds float past. 

“I have to tell him I’m leaving, somehow” slowly he closes his eyes, not quite falling asleep just resting.

 

In the back of Tommy’s mind he knows it was wrong, he should’ve asked tubbo if he wanted to come, but Tubbo never wants to do anything with anyone else, he doesn’t even try to start conversations with other people. Now that he thinks about it, other people don’t even acknowledge him, or even glance his way. 

“What the heck” he whispers, looking around to see if his friend is in class.

“Tommy? Is something distracting you?” Mrs.Matthews asks, startling the boy.

“No ma’am, sorry.” He responds, taking one last glance around the classroom before focusing on his work again.

 

The day treks on slowly, Tubbo not moving from his spot in the courtyard and Tommy trying to figure out where he is. When lunch rolls around a smile plants itself on Tubbo’s face

“I won’t tell him today, today I’ll just eat lunch with him and act like everythings ok!” Tubbo declares, walking over to the corner he and Tommy normally spend their lunches, a tray of food appearing in his hands as he walks over and waits. It didn’t take long for Tommy to appear, his backpack hanging from one shoulder. Without a moment of hesitation he looks over to their spot where Tubbo is smiling.

 “Hey Tommy!” He shouts, waving his hand at his friend. 

Tommy raises his hand to raise back when out of nowhere Wilbur runs up and tackles the boy.

“Do you really think I would let you eat alone, again!” Wilbur laughs, ruffling Tommy’s hair, immediately tugging him in the other direction.

“But what about Tubbo?” 

“Who?”
“Tubbo, my best friend.” 

There’s a split moment of silent confusion, as Wilbur looks around trying to figure out who the younger boy was referring to before realization flashes through his eyes.

“Oh Tubbo! The one you play minecraft with?”

“Yeah! Him!”
“You can call him if you want! I normally call my friend Techno during lunch.”

Not knowing what Wilbur is talking about, Tommy just nods his head in agreement.

 

Tears fall down Tubbo’s face as he watches Tommy walk away. He really isn’t needed now. The tray that once sat in his hand gone as Tubbo just sits there, staring at the spot Tommy stood. Before the sleepover when Tommy gets home he has to tell him, or, at the very least come up with a reason for why he’s going to vanish.

“I could say I’m moving! Wait, no, what if he asks for my address. I could say I made new friends! No, no, that would hurt him, Dang it why is this so difficult!” Tubbo groans, laying his head in his hands. His world is falling apart, everything is a disaster. 

Tubbo’s world is falling apart.

“It’s fine, he’s making real friends.” A feeling of bittersweet silence fills the air

“He’s happy, I won’t weigh him down.

 

“TUBBO I’M PACKING FOR THE SLEEPOVER” Tommy yells running into the room.

“Tommy, before you leave, can I uh, I need to tell you something.”
“Can it wait? I’m already late.”

“I’m leaving tommy” Once those words are spoken everything freezes. Reality is setting in and neither of the boys want to move in fear of breaking it

“Then, tomorrow, tomorrow we’re hanging out all day, we can skip school!” 

“I’m not sure if there will be a tomorrow tommy”
“There’s always tomorrow, what are you talking about.” A tense silence falls as everything is frozen. Time stops moving.

“I’m not real Tommy”
“Yes you are! How else would you be here”
“I’m not, I’m imaginary” 

“You’re real! You’re my best friend and for that you are real enough”

“But I-”
“YES YOU ARE”

“Tommy” silence once again engulfs the room. The boys just stare at each other, waiting for the other to break the silence

“Tommy, I have to leave, you’re sixteen, you don’t need me anymore, you have real friends”

“YOU ARE A REAL FRIEND” 

“Tomm-”
“No, Tubbo, I don’t care what you say or what you think, you are real, at least to me, you’re my best friend, my first friend. You can’t leave me”  Quite sobs escape from the blondes throat as he sinks to his knees.

“You can’t leave me”

“I don’t have a choice Tommy”

“Why not”

“Because it’s not something either of usc an control.

“Then, then, Then I won’t go to the sleepover! I’ll stay here! We’ll do minecraft mondy, justa stay, please.” Tommy’s eyes look at Tubbo in desperation “please”

“Go to the sleep over, we can talk about this when you get home tomorrow”

“But”
“It’s fine, Tommy, just go have fun” Instead of answering, Tommy just nods and goes back to packing, every now and then looking up to make sure his brown haired friend is still there.

 

Tubbo groans, his head resting in his hands as he sits in Tommy’s room.

“I shouldn’t have told him, I should’ve just lied about it” Regret swallows him whole as he realizes that by the time Tommy gets home from the sleepover he’s not going to be there, and Tommy would’ve no warning.

“I’m sorry Tommy” He whispers, feeling darkness wash over him.

 

“TUBBO! I’M HOME “ Tommy yells running into his room expecting to see his friend.

“Tubbo” As silence answers him, the realization of what happened sets in

“T-tubbo” Tears begin to pour down his face “please, you’re supposed to be my best friend, why aren’t you here” He lays down curling into a ball, silent sobs unable to escape 

“He’s really gone”