Tabitha Evans

There we were, Lucas and I, dancing in the street amongst the zooming cars.

There we were, Lucas and I, dancing in the street amongst the zooming cars.

Morgan Champion, Arts and Entertainment Editor

When I was young, I was a big believer in imaginary friends. First, there was Margret, an imaginary old lady who gave me the best imaginary butterscotch I had ever tasted. Then, there was was Anne, an imaginary little girl who was about my age at the time. She would skip down the sidewalks with me at recess and color in my coloring books for hours on end when I got home. On my seventh birthday though, I had an imaginary friend named Lucas, and he was a bit more rebellious than Margret and Anne. When all of the adults had gone inside to prepare for my party, he led me into the busy street. At first, I was hesitant, but he just looked so welcoming: grinning from ear to ear, blue eyes shining.

So I followed him. I followed him in front of pedestrians and bikes and the rush of traffic. He had me, adorable, innocent, just-turned-seven-years-old me was hypnotized. We danced mindlessly down the street for a few minutes, completely oblivious to what was happening around us—At least until my mom came out with the cake. She screamed and flailed her arms in the air, desperately trying to catch my attention. A gray Honda SUV zoomed in our direction, ready to hit me head on. Lucas kept dancing, but I was smart enough to know when enough was enough, and just as the car’s wheels touched my ankles, I jumped out of the way. Except, by the time I had made it back to safety, Lucas was gone.

At first, I assumed that he had been run over and started sobbing that my best friend had been murdered At least four police cars were parked around my house, and a few detectives were questioning my mom and the driver—whose name, I had come to find out, was Jared Skipper. He seemed to feel bad, so I went up and comforted him multiple times throughout the day. I told him it was an accident, that he could not possibly have meant to run over Lucas.

And when a nice policeman named Officer Payne came up to question me, I told him all that I believed to be true: that my friend had led me out to the streets and had been run over. This, of course, led to even more investigation. A few men came and took Jared Skipper away in a panicked fashion, while Officer Payne went looking for Lucas. At the time, I had honestly believed he was real, standing right there in front of me, and my parents thought that I was just talking about someone I had invited to the party. They even went so far as to bring me into the kitchen and ask for his house number, to which I responded with a shrug.

The investigation lasted until nine o’clock that evening—my bedtime—when finally, Officer Payne came into the living room. “I have looked this kid up everywhere,” he said, “and I have not found anything. No social security number, no home address, no birth certificate. Nothing.”

My dad looked over at me, and I was finally getting around to opening her birthday presents. “She has a very active imagination. Maybe he’s one of those imaginary friends she is always talking about.”

And that sealed the deal. A few nurses came in one more time to make sure I was not injured, and then, everyone left. The house was just as quiet as before. It was like nothing ever happened. I finished opening the last of my presents, ate a piece of birthday cake, and went to get ready for bed. What I did not know, though, was that my parents would contact the school counselor to try and get to the bottom of my imaginary friends.

Her name was Mrs. Summers, and I went to see her every day from the time of the incident to when I graduated fifth grade. Her bubbly personality pleased my parents, and she was sure that she could help fix my issues. For a while, she did. I stopped seeing imaginary people, focused on my schoolwork, and was an absolute angel, but here is the thing about good things, they do not last forever.


Her name was Tabitha Evans, and I started seeing her a few months before my sophomore year in high school. At first, she would just grin at me from across the room, but as time passed, her voice began creeping its way into my head, echoing until I began to cry, my ears ringing.  “Hi, Elizabeth,” she would say, “Want to come and play?”

The worst part was that she wouldn’t speak up until I was in bed, alone and defenseless. I would close my eyes and there she’d be, holding a lantern that was just about to flicker off and wearing a battered nightgown, her stringy black hair in knots. She would stare at me from the corner of my bedroom, her hazel eyes never wavering, and eventually, I would fall asleep, her voice haunting my dreams.

By the end of that summer, the encounters had become so bad that I began to wet the bed, and my parents would come running into the room at the sound of my shrieks, only to change the sheets and disappear back into their room, leaving me with a fresh bed and vivid nightmares. The first few nights, my mom asked me why I was so afraid, but I was so disturbed that the only thing that came out of my mouth was, “I’m having nightmares.”

This routine continued night after night, until finally, her voice became unbearable. Like always, she stood in the corner of my bedroom, repeating the same eerie sentence, “Hi Elizabeth. Want to come and play?” I pressed the covers against my face, tossing and turning until my ears began to ring. Suddenly, she began to grow louder, almost hypnotizingly loud.My parents rushed into the room, like always, but this time, I was not screaming. I did not even seem panicked. In fact, besides the gradually growing voice in my ears, everything seemed normal. And so, they left, and by the time the morning had come, Tabitha Evans had disappeared.

As the night fell once more, she came back in her same state, repeating her signature motto. I did not scream. I did not wet the bed. I just laid there, waiting for my parents to come rushing in. And when they did, my mom smiled at the fact that her daughter had finally found peace. Yet, I had not. I still have not.

Even on the happiest of nights, Tabitha Evans still appears in the corner of my bedroom, getting progressively louder, but the thing is, she does not scare me anymore. She does not scare anyone anymore.

I guess some imaginary friends can be more ruthless than others.