Sigh, O Narnia
by Patrick Hueller
Friday, January 6
Friday Night Date Night is dumb. Why do Mom and Dad have to go to a restaurant when there’s food here? They say “we” never get a chance to see each other, but they don’t mean “we” us. They mean “we” just them. Even though they see each other every night after work and sleep in the same room together.
I like restaurants, too!
What I don’t like are babysitters. Especially this new one.
Before they left, Mom and Dad said, “You can show him your superhero toys.”
I told them for the gazillionth time, “They’re not toys. They’re figurines.”
Plus, the babysitter doesn’t even want to see them. As soon as Mom and Dad left he walked into every single room except mine. Then he went back to the living room and turned on the TV. I can hear it through my bedroom door.
Friday Night Date Night sucks.
Saturday, January 7
Maybe Friday Night Date Night isn’t so bad. My babysitter’s name is Ryan. That’s what he said. He finally came upstairs last night.
I said, “Are you my babysitter?” even though I knew that was a stupid thing to say. Of course he was my babysitter.
He said, “Yes, but I’m not a babysitter. Only girls are called that.”
I said, “You’re a boy like me.”
He said, “No, I’m not.”
So I asked, “What are you then?”
He said, “I’m a man.” Then he said, “As soon as I’ve got enough in my back pocket I’m going sigh-oh-Narnia, and I don’t care what my parents say about it.”
I didn’t know what he was talking about. I said, “I’m mad at my parents, too.” Then I asked him, “What should I call you?”
He said, “Ryan.” Ryan kept looking at my figurines. Then he said, “Why are all your toys still in their boxes?”
I said, “Because they’re not toys. They’re figurines.”
Ryan must have been impressed, because he said, “Toys must be pretty special to be figurines, huh?”
I said, “Yeah.”
And Ryan said, “Can I see them?”
Then something else happened. Ryan bent over to look at my Boba Fett figurine and a ring fell out of his shirt. It was on a necklace. The ring was shiny and gold.
I asked, “What is that?”
Ryan said, “Take it easy. I was going to put them back.”
He was talking really fast and I didn’t know what he meant.
So I said, “What do you mean?”
And he said, “Anyways, it’s not like they’re going to miss them. They were at the bottom of the box and the box was all dusty.”
I still didn’t know what he meant.
So I said, “Is that the ring?”
Ryan said, “What are you talking about?”
I said, “The ring to control all rings. From Middle Earth.”
Ryan looked at me for a long time. Then he said, “Yes, it is”!
I said, “But wasn’t it destroyed in Mordor?”
Ryan said, “No. They thought it was, but it wasn’t.”
I asked, “How did you get it?”
Ryan said, “It’s a long story.”
And I said, “I bet it is!”
I wanted to hear about it but Ryan said maybe another time.
Then Ryan said, “I hope I can trust you to keep the ring a secret because no one is supposed to know I have it.” He said, “The safety of the world depends on it.”
I told Ryan, “Your secret is safe with me.”
When my parents got home, Ryan said, “You have a great kid.” He rubbed the top of my head. Then he said, “I’d be glad to come back next week.”
When they left, I said, “Will you bring the ring back next week?”
He didn’t say anything right away. Then he said, “Yeah, I guess so. I mean, yeah, sure, kid, you got it!”
He was talking really quiet to remind me that this was a secret.
Friday, January 13
When Ryan knocked on my door tonight he was wearing a brown cloak!
I said, “Hi, Ryan.”
But he said, “My name isn’t Ryan.”
I said, “But you told me to call you Ryan.”
He said, “Well I am Ryan. But I am also a Jedi Knight”!
I said, “Really?”
He said, “Yes”! Then he said, “Do you want to be one too?”
I said, “Of course!”
He said, “In that case, I will train you”! Then he said, “Here.”
He gave me a broom handle and he had one too.
He said, “We should start by working on light saber fighting.”
I said, “Don’t you have your own light saber?”
He said, “Of course I have my own light saber. I’m a Jedi Knight.” But then he said, “It shorted out a few days ago. It’s in the shop.”
Which made sense. So we spent the whole night going up and down the stairs and all over the house light saber fighting with broom handles!
Then at the end of the night you won’t guess what happened.
Jedi Knight Ryan said, “You are ready to be a Jedi Knight too”! He said, “Do you want your own light saber?”
I said, “Of course!”
He said, “Okay. I will order one for you but they are expensive because they’re light sabers.”
I didn’t feel so happy then. I told him, “I don’t have any money because I’m just a kid.”
He scratched his chin. Then he said, “I’ve got it”! He said, “How about your figurines?”
I said, “What about them?”
He said, “They’re really cool and worth a lot. I can take some of them and use them to pay for your light saber”!
So of course I said, “Okay”!
I love my figurines but I have a lot of them and I don’t have a light saber. I just gave him some of the girl figurines and the bad guys though. He put Andromeda and Garganta and Electra and General Palpatine and Lex Luther in his car.
Then he came back inside and said, “I will order the light saber as soon as I get home.” Then he said, “Don’t tell your mom and dad, okay?”
I said, “Why?”
He said, “Think about it. They’ll just think their son has a weapon and be creeped out.”
I thought about it and thought about it and finally I said, “Okay. You’re right.”
Friday, January 20
When Jedi Knight Ryan came into my room I said, “Where are the light sabers?”
He said, “Mine’s still in the shop. But don’t you have yours?”
I said, “No. How would I have mine?”
He said, “I ordered it on the computer and sent it to your home address.” He said, “You should have it by now.”
When I started to tear up, he said, “But it is a light saber. So I guess you can understand if it takes longer than most things take.”
I wiped away my wet eyes before a single actual tear formed. I said, “Yeah. I guess I can understand that.”
Jedi Knight Ryan said, “I will check on your order when I get home, okay?” Then he said, “Did you know that Spider-Man didn’t actually shoot webs out of his wrists?”
I said, “What are you talking about?”
He said, “Spider-Man has a web shooter that you can order on the computer.”
Then he asked, “Do you want one? I can get one for you when I check on your light saber.”
I said, “Of course!”
He said, “The only thing is, they’re really expensive....
I said, “I have more figurines, remember?”
He asked me, “Which ones should I take?”
I said, “The rest of the girls and the bad guys.”
After Ryan put the figurines in his car, he came back inside and held me sideways and upside down so I could pretend to be walking on the walls and ceiling like Spider-Man.
I tried not to think about my figurines. I didn’t ask him which ones he took because I didn’t need to. I knew which girls and bad guys he must have taken. I didn’t need to think or ask about them. It’s hard not to think about something you’re thinking about, though.
I asked Jedi Knight Ryan, “Can I tell my parents about the web shooter?”
He said, “Do you think that’s a good idea?” By the way he said it, I knew it wasn’t.
Copyright © 2016 by Patrick Hueller