I was young when I first saw him. Very young. Four, maybe five. I remember it clearly though. I’d woken in the middle of the night and been drawn to the window by the bright moon’s glow. I didn’t notice at the time but I know now it must have been a full moon. I looked out the window and the familiar view of the garden and fields beyond had been transformed into a magical land by the moonlight. And I saw him standing in the fields just beyond our garden, staring back up at me.
How to describe him? He was older than me, but only by a few years. Tight curly hair, pale face and, well, radiating warmth. Friendliness. I knew he wanted me to play, wanted me to come outside. Something in his face, the way he held himself, spoke of boundless energy, of games to be played, of places to explore. It’s so hard to put it into words. I remember leaning forwards till my nose touched the cold glass of the window.
He waved to me, beckoned me. I couldn’t go. The house was locked, I didn’t know where the keys were. All I could do was stare at him, feeling a longing to join him deep in my soul.
After a minute or two he realised I wouldn’t be joining him. His smile became brighter if anything and I felt a message, a promise, that there would be another time. With a last wave he turned and ran off across the field, almost dancing across the grass. I watched him cross several more fields until he reached the woods in the far distance. Even after he’d disappeared into the woods I watched for a long time, before sleep finally caught up with me. I woke the next morning curled up on the floor by the window.
* * *
The next time I saw him I was eight. It wasn’t long after my birthday, just into December. Nearly two feet of snow lay on the ground. I’d spent the day out playing in it but more had come down in the evening. When I woke and looked out the window the snow seemed to glow in the full moon’s light, an undisturbed blanket of white. And there he was. Once again he was standing just into the fields. This time he was dressed in a warm winter coat, woolly hat and gloves. He seemed about the same age as me and the smile was the same one I remembered from before. Just looking at him filled me with happiness, with energy. And this time I could join him. I grabbed on some warm clothes, sneaked downstairs and wrapped up for the weather. Unlocking the back door I shoved my feet into my boots and slipped outside. I crunched my way through the snow in the back garden, past the snowman I’d built with dad, and went through the gate into the fields.